New Delhi:MS Dhoni showed why he's considered a fine captain. On Monday evening, the Chennai captain put the game past Bangalore twice in one game.
First, it was his explosive 65 that amped up Chennai's score to 178 when it looked good for just 150. Then, having dropped Muttiah Muralitharan to play five seamers, he rotated his bowlers purposefully to cut Bangalore short by 13 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
It was a hard-fought win decided in the last over --- a rarity in the IPL, where most games had been decided in the first half.
It meant that the Super Kings recorded their fourth win, while for Rahul Dravid's Royal Challengers suffered their third loss, both in four games.
Bangalore looked solid in their chase with crisp fifties from Wasim Jaffer and Ross Taylor. But in thirty minutes of madness, the Royal Challengers imploded, going from 102-1 to 165 all out.
Manpreet Gony impressed again, picking up 3-38 for Chennai. But it was P Amarnath, who dismissed both Jaffer and Taylor. With pressure mounting, Joginder Sharma removed Jacques Kallis caught behind and
Gony came back for a second spell, dismissing the dangerous Mark Boucher caught at third man and the out-of-form Dravid LBW.
Jacob Oram's yorkers were hard to get away, and it call came down to the last over when Bangalore needed 17 with a wicket left. Dhoni turned to Joginder again, and he did what was needed.
Earlier in the day, Chennai batted sedately till the 15th over when Dhoni cut loose. His late charge made the difference in the final analysis.
First it was Michael Hussey who took the lead in accelerating the score. However, in the period Hussey moved from 45 to 47, Dhoni jumped from 16 to 65 before the two got out to the last two deliveries of the innings.
Dhoni was severe on Dale Steyn, hitting him for four fours and a huge six over midwicket. It took him to a fifty in 24 balls.
The explosive finish hurt a good start by Bangalore's seam bowlers, who had done well to dismiss Parthiv Patel and Matthew Hayden cheaply.
Zaheer Khan finished with 3-38 but the rest of the bowlers weren't as impressive.