Pune Warriors Feel ‘Bengaluru Heat’ - Collapse to RCB’s team effort
---------------Virat, Gayle's efforts and handy bowling help Royal Challengers Bangalore triumph over Pune Warriors India by 26 runs. ---------------------
By Vikram Afzulpurkar
Virat Kohli won the man of the match in the contest against Pune Warriors India which Royal Challengers Bengalore snatched with some degree of ease. ‘Ease’ is a word that robs the side of its due and the efforts made in the run of play.
Such is the growing reputation of Royal Challengers Bangalore that they are expected to romp home in effortless style. Well, they’ve displayed two comprehensive performances, one each when setting a target (against Pune Warriors India) and chasing (Kolkata Knight Riders). The victories against Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Delhi Daredevils can be attributed to late bursts, which again proves that the side can play to any situation.
The match against Delhi Daredevils had again been set for hopeless domination until the rare top order collapse; finally their mercurial captain Vettori and allies Tiwary and Syed rescued the men in red. RCB is setting standards which have been matched perhaps only by the Mumbai Indians in this tournament.
At the Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday night, RCB scored 182, where the purist may be tempted to single out Virat Kohli’s effort of 4 sixes scored after the 6th over ahead of Chris Gayle’s of a similar number because the field restrictions being lifted made scoring more challenging. But it’s difficult to cast such judgment firmly because Gayle may have had to contend with deadlier bowlers. Kohli scored 67 whereas Gayle 49 at almost the same strike rate, both striking 4 fours.
One does not know if judges confer man-on-the-match awards on those scoring more runs, however, Kohli’s award was deserved; he lit up what was expected to be a quieter phase of the innings to knock the wind out of the opposition. Credit also goes to Saurabh Tiwary’s 14-run effort where he missed very little and then, AB de Villiers and Mohammed Kaif at their respective junctures also raised the tempo with the limited balls they had.
Dilshan too had lent Chris Gayle valuable opening support until a quality leg-spinner saw him castled. Another area where players deserve more credit is when they ‘eschew belligerence’ while their partner is scoring fast. Translated, it means that you don’t try to match your partner just to hog equal glamour. You simply nudge the ball around. Just see the effect on the nervy opposition!
Overall, it was a superb RCB effort, perhaps the only blemish being that about 6 runs may have been added in the last over if dot balls hadn’t resulted from the efforts to secure about 12 of 14 more. Well, ‘it’s up here for thinking, but down there for dancing’ as the realist would say. Meaning, it’s a different atmosphere in the centre of the pitch which only the players would understand.
RCB’s bowling came good and the pressure of an adverse run-ball equation was beginning to tell on the Warriors by about the 8th over of their chase. Of course, nothing was certain while Jesse Ryder, Yuvraj and Robin Uthappa still had their wickets intact.
Again consistent bowling in the mid overs saw off threats from Yuvraj’s broad blade until the skipper perished in typical fashion with an aerial hit that was mistimed; he was caught by Syed Mohammed on the 30-yard line. Finally, the Challengers won by 26 runs.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore now have a 6-day break, part of the original itinerary but in retrospect well earned. They face off for the first time against Kings XI Punjab in Bengaluru on 6th May. RCB fans will hope for an encore!