RCB recovers to score 173 for six in IPL opener against CSK, Mustafizur picks four wickets

Chennai, Mar 22 (UNI) Aiming for the first title, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) got off to a blazing start, stuttered in the middle losing five wickets by 12th over, with Left armer Mustafizur

Rahman picking up four of them, recovered through left hander Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik, to post a decent 173 for six in their 20 overs against five-time champs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2024 IPL opener at the M.A.Chidambaram stadium here on Friday night.

After losing three wickets in the power play in quick succession, Anuj (48, 25 balls, 4×4, 3×6) and Dinesh Karthik (38 not out, 26 balls, 3×4, 2×6) added 95 in 50 balls to guide RCB to a decent total.

RCB were at one stage 78 for five in 11.4 overs, with Mustafizur Rahman picking up four wickets, two each in his first two overs bowled by him in the fifth and 12th over of the innings.

Anuj fell short of a well-deserved half-century, being run out off the last ball of the innings, going for a bye, with wicket-keeper Dhoni’s underarm throw finding him short of the crease.

Two sumptuous overs, helped RCB to recover well as the duo scored 18 runs of Tushar Deshpande’s over (18th) and 16 runs of Mustafizur’s last over (19th) to guide the team to a some what defendable total.

Batting first, RCB got off to blazing start with skipper Faf Du Plessis and Virat Kohli adding 41 runs in the first four overs, with the former picking up eight boundaries, including three in an over of medium pacer Deepak Chahar (the third over of the innings).

However, the introduction of Bangladeshi import left arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman, who was picked in the auction for Rs two crores and was rated highly ahead of the all important contest, struck twice in his opening over, beginning his campaign with CSK on a wonderful note.

He got rid of Faf Du Plessis(35, 23 balls, 8×4) who miscued an inside out shot and was held by a diving Ravindra at deep point and three balls later Rajat Patidar (0) edged an off-cutter to Dhoni.

There was more trouble for RCB, as in-form Glenn Maxwell, who struck an unbeaten double hundred in and ODI against Afghanistan and became the first Aussie batsmen to do so guiding the team to an improbable win from a hopeless position, fell without troubling the scorers.

The change of ends for Deepak Chahar worked wonder. Maxwell tried to punch an just outside the off-stump delivery with an open face and edged to Dhoni, turning the contest on its head, as the Chennai lions roared back, much to the delight of yellow brigade that stormed the stadium.

At the end of power play, RCB lost three wickets.

Cameroon Green and Virat stemmed the rot adding 36 in 6.1 overs, as RCB trudged to 75 for three at the half-way stage, before Mustafizur came back for his second over and dealt yet another double blow removing Kohli and Rawat in one over.

A surprisingly cirumspect Kohli, who scored a solitary six, (21, 20 balls) went for a pull off a slow delivery and Ajinkya Rahane took a diving catch at deep midwicket and lobbed it to Rachin Ravindra before sliding into the boundary ropes.

The Bangaldeshi seamer got his fourth wicket castling Cameroon Green (18, 22 balls, 1×4) two balls later, as boundaries dried up for the visitors. At this stage his figures read four for six in two overs.

CSK bowlers, especially left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and offie Maheesh Theekshana applied the brakes and Ruturaj brought back Deepak Chahar who completed his quota of overs as RCB reached 102 for five in 15 overs.

Dinesh Karthik, who is playing his last IPL season and Anuj Rawat, after a sedate start, picked up the guantlet, hitting fours and sixes as pacer Tushar Deshpande leaked 25 runs in the 18th over.

Anuj Rawat was more aggressive than the usually agressive Dinesh Karthik as he took control of the RCB innings with a flurry of boundaries as the duo brought in their half-century stand and take their team to a respectable total.

RCB scored 71 runs in the last five overs with both Rawat and Dinesh providing the much needed final flourish, in what seems to be a below-par score on a good batting wicket.

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