All round Royal Challengers beat Daredevils by 20 runs in opener
AB de Villiers and Muttiah Muralitharan put in two wonderful performances but the entire Royal Challengers Bangalore side put in a team effort to win their season opener against the Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Chris Gayle was rested with the think tank unwilling to rush him back during his recovery from the groin injury he picked up while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League. Andrew McDonald made his presence felt though with a 19 ball 30 to give RCB a great start.
A couple of poor shots, some brilliance from James Bracewell (3/32) and a dubious LBW decision for Saurabh Tiwary which completely overlooked a huge inside edge however reduced RCB to 59/4 from 37/0.
AB de Villiers hung on at one end and found support first from Mayank Agarwal (16) and then Vinay Kumar (18). Agarwal provided relief for de Villiers, taking on Umesh Yadav (0/8) and Morne Morkel (2/30) in a 26 run stand for the fifth wicket. de Villiers cut loose with Daniel Vettori and Vinay went for his shots as well in the partnership for the seventh wicket, the duo adding 54 in just 5.3 overs.
The highlights of AB’s knock were his reverse ramp shots off Pathan (0/54) in the 19th over, a six off the first ball bringing up his 50 and 14 runs coming off the next 5 balls. He ended on 64* off 42 with six 4s and two 6s as RCB posted 157/8 in their 20 overs.
Zaheer Khan (1/36) had Virender Sehwag for a golden duck after having the first three balls of his over dispatched for boundaries by Aaron Finch. Naman Ojha (33) took many chances in his innings and was lucky enough to take DD to 53/1 in 7 overs.
Muttiah Muralitharan’s introduction ended his charmed life and by the time his first spell was over he had figures of 3/11 including the wicket of the other set batsman, Finch (18).
Harshal Patel (0/10) showed impressive pace and control to keep the pressure on the batsmen but couldn’t take a wicket as Irfan Pathan (24) and Yogesh Nagar (16) added 32 for the sixth wicket. Pathan caused a scare, hitting 14 off Murali’s last over before Vettori broke that partnership, dismissing Nagar. DD needed 43 off 18 at that point.
Patel’s brilliant throw from deep square leg caught Pathan short of the crease on the last ball of the 19th over. With 27 needed from the last over Vinay Kumar kept them down to 6, DD's final score of 137/7 sealing a 20 run win for RCB. AB de Villiers picked up the Man of the Match award for his brilliantly paced knock.
It was the first time that the team had beat Delhi in Bangalore and the winning start to the season despite the absence of big names such as Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan will give the team great confidence.