Robin Uthappa was at his destructive best on Tuesday (April 12) as Chennai Super Kings recorded their first win in IPL 2022, thrashing Royal Challengers Bangalore by 23 runs. Playing against his former franchise, Uthappa paced his innings to perfection and played some delightful shots all over the park. With CSK suffering some early blows, Uthappa was watchful in the initial half of the innings.
However, once he got settled, there was no one stopping the dashing opener. He ended up scoring a 50-ball 88 as CSK posted the highest team score of the season, 216/4. While all RCB bowlers struggled to contain Uthappa, part-time off-spinner Glenn Maxwell endured the hardest time against him. As the Aussie all-rounder gave away just 10 runs in his first two overs, skipper Faf du Plessis entrusted him to bowl the 13th over of the innings despite several frontline bowlers being available.
Robin Uthappa, Shivam Dube dismantled RCB bowlers
The decision wasn’t really fruitful as Uthappa smashed three sixes in that over, tightening CSK’s grip over the contest. Notably, Shivam Dube, who scored 96 off 45 balls, was Uthappa’s partner-in-crime in the game as the duo added 165 runs off 74 balls. On being asked about his onslaught, Uthappa stated Dube had the onus to smash the spinners while he demanded more strike when the pacers were operating. However, the 36-year-old didn’t mind smashing Maxwell as he the balls landed in his arc.
“When 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, I told him to give me the strike back,” said Uthappa after the game.
Meanwhile, this was a much-needed win for CSK as they lost their first four fixtures. However, the defending champions still have a long way to go and they must identify a way to extend this steak.