The Royal Challengers Bangalore overcame the Delhi Daredevils by eight wickets in what eventually turned out to be an easy run chase for the Garden City franchise. Thanks to a masterful big-hitting display from Yuvraj Singh and skipper Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers achieved the 146-run target with 3.2 overs to spare.
Earlier, RCB won the toss and asked DD to take first strike. Kohli’s bowlers vindicated this decision by shaking the Daredevils’ top order early on. Mitchell Starc accounted for former Royal Challenger Mayank Agarwal’s (6) wicket in the third over of the innings. Soon after that, Albie Morkel, in his first game in an RCB jersey, got rid of the dangerous Dinesh Karthik (0), who could only manage a golden duck. And then, before Manoj Tiwary (1) could stabilise the faltering DD innings, first change bowler, Varun Aaron, had him caught behind.
With the scorecard reading 17 for three in 4.1 overs, JP Duminy joined Murali Vijay in the middle. The duo only managed to add another 18 runs to the total over a three over stretch. Thereafter, Vijay’s (18) innings came to a surprise end off Yuzvendra Chahal’s first delivery of the night; the young leg-spinner bowled a straighter one that snuck past the opener’s defense. Thanks to the constant pressure exerted by the RCB bowlers, DD were tottering at 49 for four at the halfway stage with Ross Taylor taking guard opposite Duminy.
However, that was the final dent the RCB bowlers made in the DD line-up. Both Duminy and Taylor then set about resurrecting an innings that had gone astray in the first half. In the process, they managed to get their eye in, and then, in the last five overs, dispatched the opposition bowlers to, and sometimes over, the fence. They were particularly harsh on Ashok Dinda, who ended up with forgettable figures of 4-0-51-0. Even Starc came in for some stick in the death overs as both DD batsmen rode their luck with miscued shots and occasional edges running to the boundary.
Thanks to Duminy’s (67*) innings-boosting half-century and Taylor’s (43*) firm hand on the other end, the Daredevils posted a competitive 145 for four in their quota of 20 overs. For RCB, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers as his incisive four-over spell cost just 18 runs and accounted for a key wicket on a pitch that turned out to be batsman-friendly.
In response, the touted RCB line-up also suffered a jolt up front, when Nic Maddinson (4) edged Mohammed Shami to the ‘keeper. Kohli then joined forces with Parthiv Patel, and the pair dug RCB out of a hole. They added 56 for the second wicket in seven overs to put the run-chase on track. Patel (37), however, missed one from Rahul Sharma and ended up getting bowled just when he looked set to take charge of the innings.
RCB’s most expensive buy – and arguably the most experienced campaigner in their ranks – Yuvraj Singh then stepped up to the plate. A couple of misjudged shots later, the southpaw settled in and almost immediately proved his worth to his new team. With Kohli initially leading the way with his trademark fluent strokeplay, Yuvraj seemed comfortable playing a vital supporting role. However, as the innings progressed, both batters showed just why they are counted among the best chasers in the business.
With an assortment of boundaries – including three sixes in one Sharma over – they batted DD out of the game. Yuvraj Singh’s (52) first innings in RCB colours saw him post a 29-ball half-century.
Meanwhile, Kohli (49) just fell short of yet another 50 in the T20 format. Yuzvendra Chahal for his economical figures of 4-0-18-1 was named man-of-the-match.
Bangalore 146 for 2 (Yuvraj 52*, Kohli 49*) beat Delhi 145 for 4 (Duminy 67*, Taylor 43*) by eight wickets.
Match 3 – CSK v KXIP today
Abu Dhabi set to host King size battle
It will be a battle of the Kings when two-time champions and IPL 2013 runners-up Chennai Super Kings square off against Kings XI Punjab in Match 3 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK are perhaps the most consistent outfit in the IPL; they have contested in the Playoffs in every one of the six seasons so far, have won the championship on two occasions and finished second on three other occasions. The team owners exercised the option of retaining five key players prior to the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction – MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, apart from Suresh Raina.
As a result, they have maintained the nucleus of the team that has done well over the years. With a calm leader in MS Dhoni on the field and the serene Stephen Fleming managing the players off it, one can be sure that CSK will be best equipped for battle.
KXIP have never made it to the final four since the inaugural season of the IPL. The franchise owners and team management have made some very good buys at the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction and they will be hoping the players they have chosen will be able to deliver the goods.
Kings XI Punjab were immensely impressive in their choice of players at the 2014 Pepsi IPL Player Auction. Along with David Miller and Manan Vohra – who they retained – they have a good mix of Indian youngsters, experienced hands and overseas players with proven credentials. The one player to keep an eye on is Virender Sehwag, who has more than just one reason to deliver the goods; apart from throwing his hat back into the ring as he aims to regain a spot in the Indian team, the Delhi Dasher will also be keen to prove that he still has a lot to offer even if he is no longer the swashbuckling opener of the past.
Since rediscovering his form in IPL 2013, Mitchell Johnson has steamrolled opponents in various formats. He has bowled quick, has been accurate and incisive. And in a format where he has to bowl only four overs, expect him to go full throttle.
Including their two victories last season, Chennai Super Kings have an 8-4 win-loss record against Kings XI Punjab.
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