Gaikwad hits 65 as CSK upset Kohli’s Bangalore in IPL

Opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad hit his maiden Indian Premier League half-century as the struggling Chennai Super Kings thrashed Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets on Sunday. Gaikwad smashed an unbeaten 65 to lead Chennai’s chase of 146 in 18.4 overs in Dubai and give the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team only their fourth win this season.

The 23-year-old Gaikwad hit the winning runs for his side, who can still mathematically qualify for the play-offs, although they will drop back to the foot of the table if Rajasthan Royals beat the Mumbai Indians later on Sunday.

“I felt this one was one of the perfect games. Everything went to plan, and the execution was there,” said Dhoni who hit 19 not out in an unbeaten 37-run stand with Gaikwad.

“You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table. If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become cruel and painful. So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded.”

Gaikwad, who hit three sixes in his 51-ball knock, put on a key 67-run second-wicket stand with Ambati Rayudu, who scored 39, as Chennai bounced back after three straight losses. Dhoni praised Gaikwad who had to undergo added quarantine in the United Arab Emirates after testing positive for coronavirus ahead of the IPL campaign.

“Rutu (Gaikwad) played really well, backed himself to play the shots that he would play than worry about big shots,” said Dhoni.

“It’s been tough on Rutu as well. He batted in Chennai, then Covid, the extra quarantine took precious time away from him. He got comfortable with every run today after the single he got.”

Earlier, Sam Curran’s figures of 3-19 in three overs restricted Bangalore to 145 for six despite an attacking 82-run third-wicket stand between Kohli, who made 50, and AB de Villiers. RCB still hold third spot in the table and Kohli is confident of better things to come. “We are playing really good cricket and you have to accept you will lose games here and there,” said Kohli, who hit his third half-century of the season.

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