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Flash from the past

Updated on: 20 May,2024 08:11 AM IST  |  Bangalore
R Kaushik |

RCB’s match-winning pacer Yash Dayal admits fearing last year’s Rinku Singh-like attack on him as soon as CSK’s Dhoni hit him for a six in final over

Flash from the past

RCB’s Yash Dayal celebrates their victory over CSK at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Saturday. PIC/PTI

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Flash from the past

As he stood at the top of his bowling mark, waiting for the replacement ball to be tossed to him, a gamut of emotions was running through Yash Dayal’s mind. Tasked with defending 17 runs in the final over to secure Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s fairytale entry into the Playoffs, the left-arm quick had just been smashed over long-leg and out of the stadium by the Finisher Supreme, maybe on his last legs but with plenty of fight still left in him.

Dhoni, Jadeja in flow

Mahendra Singh Dhoni threatened to script one of those dream fightbacks in his trusted lieutenant Ravindra Jadeja’s company at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on a magical Saturday night. In a match with so much at stake for RCB and holders Chennai Super Kings, the hosts had rattled to 218 for five; in effect, they had to prevent CSK from scoring 201. 200 or under, and RCB would knock CSK out and make it to the Last Four.

RCB were well on course when CSK, timidly, slumped to 129 for six. No one was talking 219; all eyes were on 201 when Dhoni walked out, 72 needed for qualification in five overs. Surely not again. Jadeja and Dhoni orchestrated a special alliance that brought the equation down to 17 off six deliveries to qualify. It was Dayal against Dhoni. Who would blink first?

Just last season, Dayal, then with Gujarat Titans, had conceded five sixes in a row in the last over to Rinku Singh as Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off an improbable win. His mind briefly flashed to that fateful night, but Dayal immediately cast those thoughts aside. An excellent slower one forced Dhoni to pick out long-leg off the next ball, and Dayal only conceded a single in the next four deliveries. CSK were restricted to 191 for seven, RCB’s 27 run-win, their sixth victory on the trot, catapulting them to the Playoffs.

“After what happened to me last time, there was nervousness,” Dayal, remarkably calm, conceded afterwards. “When I got hit off that first ball, I subconsciously went back to that place [the Rinku onslaught]. But I have done well in the past, I have done well after that, so all that was running through my mind was to deliver a good ball. I didn’t want to look at the scoreboard or the result. I just wanted to bowl well. I was confident in my execution.”

Slower delivery to the rescue

The slower delivery was Dayal’s ally in the last over. “Since I have come to this RCB set-up, I have practiced a lot and delivered in matches. All that was going through my mind was to deliver two balls well. Even if I didn’t execute well, there were seniors standing right behind me. That helped me a lot.”Quite the raging force, RCB will be hard to stop once the Playoffs begin. It should be a fun last week of IPL 2024.

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