Robin Uthappa's blazing half-century saw Royal Challengers Bangalore outclass Chennai Super Kings by 36 runs to storm to the top of the Indian Premier League, at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, on Tuesday.
Chasing a stiff 172 for victory, Chennai finished on 135 for seven in their 20 overs with all-rounder Vinay Kumar taking four for 40 in four overs.
Uthappa, who was dropped on five and 19, changed the script dramatically in the last two overs as he smashed 68 from a mere 38 balls, having three boundaries and six sixes.
Muttiah Muralitharan took three for 25 in four overs before Uthappa's blast in the final overs took Royal Challengers Bangalore to a competitive 171 for five in their 20 overs.
Uthappa's innings proved to be the turning point as Bangalore scored 41 runs from the last two overs, hitting five sixes and a boundary from 12 deliveries to set Chennai a stiff target on a lively pitch.
This was Bangalore's fourth successive victory as they moved to the top of IPL with eight points, while Chennai have now lost two matches in a row.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Unlike in their previous matches, Bangalore's opening duo, Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey, had a rather subdued shot with some streaky shot as the ball hit the edges more than the middle of the bat. The wicket seemed to offer some assistance to the fast bowlers as both batsmen were beaten by the bounce and movement a few times against the new ball.
Albie Morkel had a huge appeal for caught behind against the in-form Kallis turned down and replays showed that umpire Russel Tiffin had made the right decision.
Kallis made room and tried to hit Morkel through the off-side but his thick edge went to Lakshmipathy Balaji at the thirdman boundary who inexplicably lost the ball in the crowd as it went for a boundary. The very next ball he was beaten all ends up but his thick edge flew wide of the first slip for yet another boundary, in the third over.
Sudeep Tyagi bowled a tight fourth over, his second of the innings, giving away just two runs and Kallis looked to make up for it by trying to attack Balaji in the next over.
He hit Balaji for two boundaries off his first three deliveries but fell off the next delivery. Kallis shuffled across his stumps and tried to hit one over the leg side but missed and was bowled for 19 from 17 balls. It was the first time that Kallis was dismissed in IPL 3, after having scored 283 runs in five matches.
But Balaji suffered in his next over when he was hit for three boundaries. Dravid hit one over the mid-off fielder and then guided the next delivery wide of Matthew Hayden at first slip for back to back boundaries. Pandey then played the last delivery fine on the leg side for yet another boundary to take the total to 52 for one after seven overs.
Muttiah Muralitharan's introduction saw Chennai take control as he took two wickets in two overs. He struck in his very first over when he bowled Dravid for 14 as the batsman made room and tried to cut it through point.
Pandey fell in Muralitharan's next over after a sedate knock of 20 from 28 balls when he tried to slog sweep but was taken by Suresh Raina at mid-on as Bangalore were reduced to 67 for three after ten overs.
Muralitharan should have picked the wicket of Robin Uthappa (5) in his next over as the batsman attempted the switch hit but R Ashwin on the cover boundary dropped the easy catch. The Sri Lankan off-spinner then saw another opportunity going waste off his bowling when wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel missed an easy stumping as Kohli (18) charged down the wicket.
The very next delivery Muralitharan was further infuriated when Kohli slammed him over the mid-on fielder for a six. But two deliveries later Muralitharan had his revenge, when Kohli (24 from 16 balls) once again danced down the wicket but this time Patel collected the ball cleanly and whipped off the bails.
Muralitharan had once again made an important contribution with the ball, taking three for 25 in four overs, as Bangalore were reduced to 110 for four after 16 overs.
Chennai's sloppy fielding didn't help their bowlers at all as catches. Uthappa was dropped for the second time on 25, as the right-hander hit a full toss from Morkel straight to Vijay at long-on who grassed it.
But Morkel ensured Chennai kept chipping away at the wickets as he bowled Eoin Morgan for 1 with a full straight delivery to reduce the hosts to 119 for five after 17 overs.
Uthappa tried to attack every ball he faced, but even he was struggling to make an impact as boundaries were few and far in between.
But once he found his range, there was no stopping Uthappa as it rained sixes in Bangalore.
He walked down the wicket to Ashwin and despatched a full toss over midwicket for a six, in the 18th over to start Bangalore's comeback.
Uthappa then took Balaji to the cleaners as he hit the pacer for a boundary and three sixes in a row to give the innings a huge lift in the penultimate over.
The Bangalore youngster crashed a full delivery through covers for a boundary and then slammed one over midwicket for a huge six followed by a straight six down the ground to bring up his half-century from 32 deliveries. Balaji erred with his length yet again and Uthappa hit him straight down the ground for a huge six down the ground for 24 runs in the over.
In the last over bowled by Ashwin, it was Boucher's turn to make merry as he sent one over the long-on fence for his first six. Uthappa continued the fireworks when he hit Ashwin straight down the ground for yet another six as Bangalore finished on 171 for five in 20 overs.
Uthappa finished unbeaten on an amazing innings of 68 from just 38 balls, that was laced with six sixes and three boundaries, while Boucher was not out on 11.
Uthappa had single-handedly changed the game as he hit 39 runs from the ten deliveries he faced, hitting five sixes and a boundary during that period.
Chennai have only themselves to blame after dropping as many as three simple catches that eventually took a heavy toll in the closing stages.
Chennai Super Kings:
Bangalore got off to a dream start as Praveen Kumar struck in the first over of the innings. Chennai Super Kings opener Parthiv Patel edged behind an outgoing delivery that moved quite a bit to be caught behind for 1.
With the ball bouncing and moving around, even Matthew Hayden was finding it difficult to play his strokes. He got the first boundary of the innings when he walked down the wicket to Dale Steyn and smashed a full delivery through covers for a boundary and then got one in Kumar's next over.
Anil Kumble conceded just one run in his first over as Chennai struggled to 22 for one after five overs, having hit just two boundaries.
George Bailey took time to get going and got his first boundary off the 13th ball he faced when he cut a short delivery from Kallis through the point region, in the sixth over.
Kumble continued bowling miserly as he gave away just four runs in his second over as Hayden realised that it was time to go on the attack and he called for the Mini Mongoose bat. It was Kallis, who suffered at the hands of the Mongoose bat, as Hayden slammed him for three boundaries in a row to get the innings going as Chennai reached 46 for one after eight overs.
Rahul Dravid doused any hopes Chennai had of winning the match when he ran out Hayden with a direct hit from the cover region. Hayden, who made 32 from 28 balls, was Chennai's last hope of overhauling the huge target after their disastrous start but he was caught short after being sent back by Bailey.
Bailey's struggle also ended in the same over when he was caught behind off Vinay Kumar for a painstaking innings of 18 from 27 balls as Chennai were reduced to 61 for three at the halfway stage.
Captain Suresh Raina showed some intent when he pulled Kumar for a big six over square leg. However, it was the bowler, who had the last laugh when he had Raina caught at the thirdman boundary off a thick edge for nine, in the 12th over.
Kumble finished with a wicket in his final over, when he had Murali Vijay caught on the midwicket boundary for three. The Bangalore captain finished with remarkable figures of one for 15 in four overs to lead his team's wonderful bowling display.
Subramaniam Badrinath hit Vinay for a boundary and six through square leg to bring some cheer to his fans. But he hit a full toss straight down the throat of the square leg fielder after scoring 31 from 17 balls as Chennai slipped to 107 for six after 16 overs.
Albie Morkel also failed to make an impact as he made 19 from as many deliveries before he fell in the final over of the innings.
Chennai finished on a disappointing 135 for seven in their 20 overs to lose by 36 runs.
It turned out to be a comprehensive victory for Bangalore as Chennai never really threatened with the bat.
Vinay Kumar continued his good recent form as he took four for 40 in four overs, while Kumble took one for 15 in four overs.
With this victory, Bangalore moved to top of the standings with eight points from five games, while Chennai are struggling after back to back losses.