Chennai Super Kings (CSK) versus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is perhaps the liveliest of all the IPL rivalries. This is sustained by the fact that the two sides are based in cities with rich cricketing histories. They also have two of the most vibrant fanbases in the IPL.
Thus, even with the fact that CSK have the upper hand against RCB in terms of head-to-head record, their encounters are a source of great interest and excitement for the fans.
The next game between the teams in IPL 2021 is due to take place in Mumbai and will be of value as the sides look to consolidate their respective positions at the top of the table.
RCB will look to rely on its strong batting line-up, while CSK will look at its all-round options to inflict a defeat on RCB. Speaking of all-rounders, there have been times in the past when allrounders have come to their own in RCB-CSK games.
Let's take a look at 3 of these special performances which helped win the game for their teams.
1. Praveen Kumar's 21 and 1/26 against CSK at Chennai, 2008:
CSK and RCB met in what was the 46th game of IPL 2008. By this time, the IPL had proved to be an ordeal for RCB, they had lost nine of their 11 encounters. CSK, on the other hand, were on their way to securing a spot for the next round of the tournament, with 7 wins in 11 games.
RCB elected to bat first on a tricky wicket and their batsmen expectedly found it hard to get going. Rahul Dravid stood strong at one end but the other RCB batsmen were neither able to take the initiative nor survive.
Finally, Praveen Kumar walked in after Dravid was outfoxed by Albie Morkel, and went after the CSK bowling. He hit Makhaya Ntini for a four and scored 13 runs in the 19th over bowled by Laxmipathy Balaji. Albie Morkel dismissed him but his 11-ball-21 helped RCB get to 126.
He returned with the ball to help kill the CSK chase. He got Manpreet Gony out in the 18th over of the innings to leave CSK at 107/7.
CSK needed 16 runs in the final over to win. However, Praveen Kumar gave away just one run to ensure RCB win the game by 14 runs.
2. Dwayne Bravo's 2/33 and 14 versus RCB at Bengaluru, 2018:
CSK were in full flow going into this IPL 2018 encounter, having won 4 of their 5 preceding encounters. RCB, on the other hand, had only 2 wins out of their 5 games. Nevertheless, they got off to a brilliant start courtesy Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers. RCB were 138 at the end of the 13th over.
Dwayne Bravo bowled a wicket-maiden to put a break on the RCB innings. He later returned to get the wicket of Umesh Yadav in the final over. Even then, RCB scored 205 runs by the 20th over.
In response, CSK lost their middle order cheaply before Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni rescued them to an extent. After Rayudu's dismissal Dwayne Bravo joined his skipper to stabilize the Chennai ship.
CSK needed 16 off the final over. Dwayne Bravo took the strike against Corey Anderson. The first 3 balls garnered 11 runs from his willow (including a 4 and a 6) before MS Dhoni finished the game with a trademark six.
While MS Dhoni was rightfully declared the man of the match (70 off 34), Dwayne Bravo's bowling effort and 7-ball-14 proved to be decisive.
3. Albie Morkel's 2/37 and 28 versus RCB at Bengaluru, 2012:
RCB won the toss and elected to bat first in this IPL 2012 encounter against CSK. It looked like the right call as Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle gave RCB a great start.
Albie Morkel turned up in the sixth over and had Mayank Agarwal caught at mid-on. Still, RCB, backed by the firepower of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, reached 205 in 20 overs.
While CSK batters put in a decent effort, they weren't able to match up to the required run rate. MS Dhoni lost his wicket with CSK needing 43 runs off 12 deliveries.
However, the next man to walk in, Albie Morkel, changed the game. He hit Virat Kohli, who bowled the penultimate over, for 28 runs. CSK were able to claw their way back into the game. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo then helped seal the deal in the final over.