Bengaluru beats Chennai to sneak into IPL playoffs

BENGALURU, India (AP) — Royal Challengers Bengaluru knocked out defending champions the Chennai Super Kings by 27 runs and snuck into the Indian Premier League playoffs by 10 runs on Saturday.

Bengaluru achieved an amazing comeback by rising off the bottom of the table and winning six straight games to qualify for the playoffs. The Royal Challengers have taken the fourth and last spot — only just.

Chennai needed 219 runs for an outright win but needed only 201 to reach the playoffs, but it was 10 runs short as left-arm pacer Yash Dayal held his nerve while bowling the last over. Bengaluru sneaked through on net run rate ahead of three other teams with the same 7-7 win-loss records.

Who meets who in the playoffs starting on Tuesday will be determined after the last round-robin games on Sunday.

Bengaluru posted an imposing 218-5 thanks to captain Faf du Plessis' 54 off 39 balls and Cameron Green's unbeaten 38 off 17.

Chennai's chase ended at 191-7 with a possibly last appearance by team standard-bearer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was out in the last over for 25 off 13.

Du Plessis and Virat Kohli opened with 78 off 58 balls. Kohli scored 47 off 29, including four sixes, while du Plessis hit three fours and three sixes.

Mitchell Santner had Kohli caught and then ran out du Plessis. Bengaluru was 113-2 after 13 overs.

But Rajat Patidar smacked 41 off 23 with four sixes. Together with Green, they smashed 71 off only 28 balls for the third wicket. The duo hit five fours and seven sixes between them.

Cameos from Dinesh Karthik (14) and Glenn Maxwell (16) gave the total luster.

The defending champions made a poor start to the chase: Skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad was caught off Maxwell for a golden duck.

Dayal caught the in-form Gaikwad and dismissed Daryl Mitchell for 4.

The comeback was started by Rachin Ravindra, 61 off 37, and Ajinkya Rahane, 33 off 22.

Lockie Ferguson broke their 66-run partnership after a strategic timeout.

Ravindra hit five fours and three sixes in his maiden IPL half-century but he was run out against the run of play, stranded after a mix-up with Shivam Dube.

The hard-hitting Dube couldn't compensate and was caught on 7.

Chennai's playoffs chances looked bleak but Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 42 off 22 and 61 off 27 with Dhoni.

Dhoni smashed six off Dayal’s first ball in the final over to ramp up the drama. Then he was out caught the very next ball and Chennai crashed out moments later.


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