IPL

Patel the hero as Challengers survive Dhoni's devastating display

By Sports Desk April 21, 2019

Royal Challengers Bangalore's resurgence continued despite MS Dhoni's heroics as Parthiv Patel's final-ball direct hit earned the Indian Premier League's bottom side a thrilling one-run win over leaders Chennai Super Kings.

Patel (53) had underpinned the Challengers' innings as they made 161-7, with Deepak Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo each taking two wickets apiece for Chennai.

Dale Steyn then claimed two dismissals in the opening over of Chennai's innings and, at 28-4 at the end of the powerplay, they had it all to do when Dhoni (84 not out) arrived, yet the 37-year-old dragged his team to the brink of victory with 24 runs off the first five balls of the final over.

That meant Chennai needed two from the final ball to win with Dhoni on strike, yet Umesh Yadav's delivery went through to Patel behind the stumps and he beat Shardul Thakur's dive to run him out, clinching a third win in four for Bangalore.

Du Plessis atones for drop in the field

Dhoni's team started brightly, with Bangalore captain Virat Kohli out in the third over, yet Faf du Plessis looked to have made a costly error when he misjudged AB de Villiers' shot to him at mid off and could only get his fingertips to the ball.

De Villiers appeared in the mood when he reached 25 off 19 balls and he dispatched Jadeja's shorter ball to the long-off boundary, but his compatriot did not put down another chance.

It was one of two catches made by Du Plessis – who has now taken 10 in this year's IPL – though his most impressive act was the role he played in removing Marcus Stoinis (14) as he shovelled the ball up to Dhruv Shorey while falling over the rope to claim a brilliant assist.

Steyn sets the tone again as Dhoni's effort comes up short

Bangalore's dismal start to the IPL campaign owed much to their feeble bowling attack, which has been rejuvenated since Steyn returned in a 10-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders last time out.

The Challengers had taken only three wickets in the powerplays of their first eight matches, but have now taken seven in their past two, with Steyn (2-29) and Yadav (2-47) laying the foundations again.

Steyn accounted for Shane Watson, who edged to slip, and bowled Suresh Raina in the opening over, while De Villiers took routine catches off Yadav's bowling to dismiss Du Plessis and Kedar Jadhav. That left Chennai 28-4, a position that ultimately proved too much to come back from despite Dhoni's brilliance.

Dhoni reached his half-century off 35 balls with one of his seven sixes. He then dragged his team into a position to triumph with three maximums in the final over – including one that went out of the stadium – but his failure to get bat on ball at the death allowed Patel to be the match-winner instead.

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    Australia are wary of the threat posed by Shakib Al Hasan as they prepare to encounter the Cricket World Cup's leading run-scorer at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

    The all-rounder has scored 384 in four innings so far, including a pair of centuries in his last two visits, and there is no disguising the fact he is Bangladesh's main threat.

    Shakib made 124 not out as the Tigers chased down 322 inside 42 overs to hammer West Indies at Taunton on Monday, a victory that left them just two points adrift of the semi-final spots.

    "I think he's in probably career-best form with the white ball," said Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey of Shakib. "So we sort of know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him and I guess out there we'll assess the conditions as well.

    "No extra planning, I don't think. We normally have our plans going into every game and we assess each player accordingly.

    "In terms of what we're going to bowl, we leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but we'd love to get him out early. He's in great form, along with the other players."

    Australia could bring all-rounder Marcus Stoinis back into their side after he recovered from the side strain that saw him miss matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

     

    TOURNAMENT SO FAR

    Australia have won four games from five to sit in a strong position to reach the semi-finals. Captain Aaron Finch is having a fine tournament with the bat, making 343 in five innings to date.

    Bangladesh enter the match with two wins and two defeats plus one no-result due to rain. They cruised to a seven-wicket win over the Windies last time out.

    WHAT THEY SAID

    Carey: "Obviously Bangladesh are playing some really good cricket at the moment and it's led by Shakib. He's one guy we want to get out early."

    Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: "Shakib is brilliant. The way he's playing, I think we need to support him as well, his team. It's not been a one-man army, but as you said he's been doing outstandingly."

    OPTA FACTS

    - These two sides have been involved in 19 completed ODIs, with Australia winning 18 of those and losing just once, in Cardiff 14 years ago.

    - Australia have won the World Cup more often than any other side (five times) and are looking to win this tournament for the fifth time in their last six attempts; Bangladesh are yet to reach the semi-final stage.

    - Steve Smith is set to register his 100th ODI innings for Australia in this match. He has scored 3,674 runs across his previous 99 knocks and heads into this contest on the back of a 59-ball 73 against Sri Lanka.

    - Shakib Al Hasan has managed to register 50 runs or more in five successive ODI knocks. No batsman has ever posted six half-centuries on the spin for Bangladesh. Shakib is currently tied for the record with Tamim Iqbal, who made five 50-plus scores in succession in 2012.

  • New Zealand skipper Williamson hails De Grandhomme innings New Zealand skipper Williamson hails De Grandhomme innings

    New Zealand captain Kane Williamson saluted team-mate Colin de Grandhomme after a tense four-wicket win over South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

    Williamson and De Grandhomme compiled the 91-run match-defining partnership before the latter was dismissed for 60 from 47 balls with victory in sight at Edgbaston.

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    "Colin de Grandhomme stood out for me today, in terms of with the ball and then the impetus he came and showed with the bat was really special," Williamson said.

    "It was a superb knock from him."

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    New Zealand remain unbeaten and look to be heading to the semi-finals. Williamson's opposite number Faf du Plessis, by contrast, is facing World Cup elimination with South Africa.

    Du Plessis said after a fourth defeat of his team's campaign: "Performances haven't been there. Individually we would have liked to have taken on more responsibility to put on performances that could drive the team home but it hasn't been there.

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