IPL 2023: Faf-Maxwell fireworks in vain as CSK edge high-scoring encounter against RCB

Synopsis: 40 overs, 444 runs, 33 sixes, and a high-octane match give fans their money’s worth.

MS Dhoni put down his counterpart Faf Du Plessis when the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper was on naught. The South African made Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pay and during his 126-run partnership with Glenn Maxwell, the home team seemed capable of chasing down a record IPL target. However, the CSK skipper redeemed himself by taking two skiers to remove both Faf and Maxwell, denting RCB’s hopes of making it two on the bounce as they fell short by eight runs.

Chasing 227 on any surface was going to be challenging, and the only way was to keep the foot on the pedal. That’s exactly what Faf and Maxwell did after losing two quick wickets.

CSK’s impact player Akash Singh made an immediate impact by dismissing Virat Kohli in the first over. The inside edge kissed Kohli’s boot and deflected onto the stumps. The left-arm seamer almost had a second, only for Maheesh Theekshana to drop Mahipal Lomoror at mid-on.

Next over, Dhoni put down du Plessis off Tushar Deshpande’s bowling. But the speedster didn’t have to wait long for his first wicket of the evening and Lomror didn’t trouble the scorers with Ruturaj Gaikwad taking a dolly at cover point.

At 15/2 in two overs, things were going downhill for RCB, but Maxwell, in the company of his skipper, came down on CSK like a ton of bricks. The Aussie took three balls to hit the first of his eight sixes as he smoked two sixes off Akash Singh. Du Plessis joined the act with two fours and a six off Deshpande, before looting 16 from Akash’s next over.

Matheesha Pathirana, playing his first game after recovering from Covid-19, was welcomed with a six over mid-wicket; altogether 12 came from the youngster’s first over.

Captain Reliable

Maxwell and Du Plessis completed their fifties in 23 and 24 balls respectively. In the 11th over, Theekshana had a chance to resurrect himself but dropped another dolly, this time off his own bowling to give Faf another life.

It came down to Dhoni with the gloves to take two skiers to remove Maxwell and break the partnership, which had almost taken the match away from their grasp. The Australian departed for a 36-ball 76. Dhoni then took another steepler to end Faf’s belligerent knock of 62 off 33 balls.

Two quick wickets brought in Dinesh Karthik, the designated finisher, finally showing his form, hitting a quickfire 28 off 13 balls. But once Deshpande dismissed the wicketkeeper-batsman, the chance of RCB’s win receded considerably.

Earlier, electing to field on a belter of a track with a lightning quick outfield at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium backfired for du Plessis as fifties from Devon Conway (83 off 45 balls) and Shivam Dube (52 off 26) helped CSK put 226 for 6 on the board.

It was a good start with the ball for the home team, with Mohammed Siraj striking again in the Powerplay; this time it was Gaikwad who was caught by Wayne Parnell trying to hit a six over square leg.

Thereafter, there was no respite for the RCB bowlers. Conway was off the mark with a delightful flick through mid-wicket and finished Parnell’s over with a premeditated lap for six over fine leg.

Veteran fires

Ajinkya Rahane, who has found a new lease of life in yellow, came out all guns blazing. He warmed up with a few singles and a couple of twos and then clobbered Vijaykumar Vyshak for a six.

In the last over of the Powerplay, Rahane showed his full range of strokes. He caressed one through covers, making some extra room and ended the over with a six over fine leg and a boundary through the mid-wicket, looting 15 runs from Parnell’s second over.

Conway, who was playing second fiddle during the Powerplay, came into his own after he smoked Maxwell straight down the ground. The left-hander then swatted Harshal Patel over midwicket for a six, and belted another in the same region against the leg-spin of Wanindu Hasranga.

The much-needed breakthrough for RCB was provided by the Sri Lankan after Rahane failed to read a googly and was cleaned bowled. The wicket ended a 74-run stand for the second wicket.

The wicket didn’t put any brakes on the run-scoring with Dube, who had looked dodgy throughout the tournament, putting up a belligerent show. Meanwhile, Conway completed his 50 in 31 balls.

The New Zealander then tore into youngster Vyshak, taking 16 runs from his over. Meanwhile, at the other end, Dube hit a 111m skyscraper off Harshal’s half-volley.

Vyashk, who had a dream IPL debut two days ago, looked out of his depth in front of Conway and Dube, and gave away 62 runs from his quota.

Quickfire cameos from Ambati Rayudu (14 off 6 balls) and Moeen Ali (19 not out off 9) ensured that CSK never lost momentum and put on a massive total on the board.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]