Top Performers: Dube and Uthappa

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings finally broke their run of four consecutive losses on the trot and registered their maiden points on the IPL 2022 standings.

  • CSK-RECB SCORECARD

As is the case with professional sports, coming out of a slump requires an inspired performance from team members and while the entire CSK coaching staff were waiting for that one magical performance to jump start their sputtering season, what this game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore produced was an all-round team performance of epic proportions spearheaded by some of the most iconic individual performances this season.

One look at the post match scorecard reveals a series of performances up and down the line-up.

From youngster Shivam Dube’s spectacular 95*off 46, Robin Uthappa rolling back the years with a vintage performance of 88 off 50, 21-year-old ‘Mystery Spinner’; Maheesh Theekshana who cleaned out the RCB top order in his spell of 4/33 and finally Captain Ravindra Jadeja, who finished with bowling figures of 3/39 and also took a spectacular boundary-line catch to dismiss RCB’s hard-hitting finisher Dinesh Karthik in the death overs.

Picking a single achievement in the match that supersedes the rest is probably unfair, considering that all of them are equally impressive; however, we have to consider the context upon which the performances were built.

Dube walked in to the crease when the team was struggling at 36-2. Moeen Ali had just been dismissed cheaply and there was a familiar sense of disappointment among the CSK faithful. At this crucial stage, with a lasting partnership the need of the hour, Dube and Uthappa set off on a 165 run stand — a new IPL record for the third wicket.

While Dube’s innings featured eight sixes and five fours, Uthappa notched up nine sixes and five fours in his knock, both of which were career best figures for both batters.

No bowler was spared as the duo carved the entire RCB bowling line-up and in the end, missed out on their respective tons by whiskers. By the time they were done, CSK had raked up a massive 216 run total in 20 overs.

Was Dube’s performance better purely because he had scored seven runs more than his senior team-mate?

Did Uthappa have the claim to the prize since he had anchored the CSK innings right from the first over and seen his team through till the end?

In all fairness, both performances were entwined in a way, one could not exist without the other. They stuck to the game plan, egged each other on, scored at a steady pace, built the innings and went on a hitting rampage in the closing overs.

It was the stand that defined the game and put CSK well in the driver’s seat even before a single ball was bowled before the RCB batters took to the crease.

In the end, Uthappa lost his wicket mainly in servitude to the team’s cause while Dube came within one mis-timed shot off a full toss ball to scoring his maiden IPL century.

Their on-field symbiosis was reflected in Uthappa’s post-match interview.

‘I just allowed him (Dube) to get in and get set. He has been hitting the ball well, I made sure to build a partnership with him. When (Glenn) Maxwell came in to bowl his third over, I felt it was the time to take him on even though it was the bigger boundary. An off-spinner bowling, so I decided to take him on.’

‘When the spinners were bowling, I tried to feed him (Dube) as much strike as possible, and when the pacers were back on,’ Uthappa revealed, ‘I told him to give me the strike back.’

  • IPL 2022
  • IPL 2022 Points Table

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