Amid fears that the controversy surrounding three players had dampened the enthusiasm of fans for the Indian Premier League 2013, a 35,000-strong crowd endured rain and strong winds, sticking around at M Chinnaswamy Stadium late into Saturday (May 18) night to watch an eight-overs-a-side match. And they were richly rewarded as Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, turned on the heat with an unbeaten 29-ball 56 that powered his team to 106 for 2 against Chennai Super Kings. The result ensured that Bangalore's hopes of making the final four were kept alive with a 24-run win. To advance, however, Bangalore still need Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
Chennai have proven adept at chasing stiff targets over 20 overs, with the likes of Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni being masters of constructing an innings and controlling the tempo. In an eight-over slog, however, the margin for error was wafer thin. What was needed was incessant hitting, and the surest way to ensure that did not happen was for Bangalore to pick up wickets. (See match pics)