Not Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis dedicates player of the match award vs CSK to…

PTI, May 19, 2024, 9:03 AM IST

Royal Challengers Bengaluru skipper Faf du Plessis on Saturday dedicated his player-of-the-match award to pacer Yash Dayal, who kept his cool in the final over to seal a 27-run win over Chennai Super Kings in the battle for the final IPL play-off spot.

Du Plessis was adjudged the player-of-the-match for his 54 off 39 balls which along with Virat Kohli’s 47 set the foundation as RCB posted a solid 218 for five on Saturday night. CSK needed to score 200 plus to qualify and they came agonisingly close to sealing the berth with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja going hammers and tongs towards the end. CSK, in fact, needed 17 off the final over but Dayal held his nerves despite being hit for a towering six by Dhoni in the first ball to seal it in the end for RCB.

”I dedicate the Man of the Match (award) to Yash Dayal! I said to him pace off on this wicket is the best option,” Du Plessis said during the post-match presentation ceremony. ”What a night! Such a great atmosphere. Just a pleasure to finish the season in front of the home fans. There was a lot of rain falling on the pitch, and you don’t want that moisture. It felt like a day-five Test match in Ranchi!” Rain threat was looming on the match and there was a 40-minute rain interruption too but it didn’t matter in the end.

”The contributions from many batters at good strikes, I’m really proud. We were defending 175 (and neither 201 nor 218)! We tried to get the ball changed tonight.

”It’s crazy; even when we weren’t winning, we had the fans here. It was set up perfectly – CSK vs RCB! Incredible.” CSK skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad said missing out on key players made a huge difference as they finished fifth in the standing.

”I think it was a good wicket to be honest, it was spinning and gripping a little bit, but I think 200 on this ground was gettable. We kept losing wickets at regular intervals, it was a matter of one or two hits, sometimes that can happen in a T20 game,” he said.

”Pretty happy with what the target was, to sum up the season, I am pretty happy to have seven wins out of 14 games. Just couldn’t get over the line in the last two balls. ”With the kind of injuries we had, missing out on two frontline bowlers, not having (Devon) Conway at the top of the order as well, I think missing out on three key players made a huge difference.” Talking about the spate of injuries which affected the team, Gaikwad said: ”There were many challenges for us right throughout the first game. Injury to Fizz (Mustafiur Rahman), then injruy to (Matheesha) Pathirana as well, he came back and then again Pathirana missed out. When you have injuries around, you have to get that balance in the team and pick it (the team) for every game. ”I think this season sums up well where we had to tinker around with our playing XI, considering the injuries and all the illness (of the players) as well. Happy with the seven wins, couldn’t get over the line though. Happy with it. ”We got 10 from the last 2 balls in our last knockout game last year so this was a similar situation, things didn’t go our way (this season) though,” he added.

Gaikwad has been one of the top run-scorer this season but he said it doesn’t matter as he couldn’t take the team to the play-offs.

”For me, personal milestones don’t really matter a lot, after all the ultimate goal is to win. If you are not getting there it’s a disappointment. Doesn’t matter if you score 100 runs or 500-600 runs in a season. I am disappointed,” he said.

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