RCB Unrelenting - Finish another perfect ‘job’ against Punjab
------- Royal Challengers Bangalore inflict another crushing defeat on a hapless opposition on Friday night.--------------
By Vikram Afzulpurkar
Result: Royal Challengers Bangalore
defeated Kings XI Punjab by 85 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
To replicate or duplicate victories seems
to be the mantra of Royal Challengers Bangalore since their last four matches.
On Friday night at the Chinnaswamy stadium, they demolished Kings XI Punjab
where the latter struggled to reach half the score after winning the toss. It
was also a ‘present’ for team owner Siddhartha Mallya whose birthday it would
be as the clock chimed later at 12 midnight.
The technical coaches felt, and few would
disagree, that two men set up the successful batting and bowling successes.
Chris Gayle with a hurricane hundred and Asad Pathan with a stunning throw to
run out Adam Gilchrist off the first ball. While Gayle’s prowess has already
been the talk of cocktail parties around the country, the team was gaga about
Pathan who covered considerable distance to hit the stumps on the run.
What made it sweeter was that the leg-spin
allrounder had earlier in the tournament invited doubts about his ability in
the field; he had probably been dropped earlier to make way for sprightly Syed
Mohammed at a time when Coach Ray Jennings was suggesting he would “make way
for better fielders.” Asad redeemed himself on Friday night and won the hearts
of thousands of RCB fans, no matter that he was out first ball trying to force
The other hero was left arm pacer S Arvind
whose initial two strikes, that of Abhishek Nayar and Shaun Marsh left the
Chandigarh-based franchise crippled after the Gilchrist run out and Chris Gayle’s
dismissing Paul Valthaty. RCB supporters felt proud that a local lad was not
merely ending up ‘among the wickets’ but had accounted for two top order
crucial batsmen among his total of four. Dr Vijay Mallya reiterated this
feeling at the post match awards.
While Royal Challengers Bangalore set up
205 it would be easy to forget that Virat Kohli and no less AB de Villiers delivered
superb blows in their respective mid and late over stages. The classy Kohli
would have liked to finish with a bigger contribution before he was foxed by
However, he executed surgical shots that left the Punjab captain
thinking. AB de Villiers’s ability to clear the ropes seemed no less than Gayle’s
as he farmed two lusty sixes seemingly out of nowhere. The South African also played
a role in counseling later batsmen who occasionally struggled to get boundaries;
it’s that stage of the innings when you feel you should get big hits on the
heels of Chris Gayle’s knock but the reality is different.
When it was RCB’s turn to bowl, Chris Gayle
finished with three wickets in a failed chase for Kings XI Punjab where they
would lose wickets while trying to force the pace.
A new style of celebration may be patented
by Gayle – when Arvind got a wicket, he would make the latter would raise both
hands in a high-five position while the burly Jamaican ‘boxed’ into them. Trust
the West Indians to come up with the celebration styles; after all they started
the high-fives in cricket about 25 years ago!
RCB fans will also note that a well earned mid
way break augured well for the fans. A B de Villiers sixes were reminiscent of
his golf hits last Sunday.
Now the action shifts to Sunday’s green day
match. Sporting the Go Green cause, RCB will become the first team in IPL
history to dramatically change their team jerseys for any single match. They
will wear green on Sunday, 8th May, squaring up to Kochi Tuskers
Kerala whom they earlier defeated in their first match of the season.