Chargers spoil RCB party
The Royal Challengers Bangalore came up 9 runs short in a small chase against the Deccan Chargers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday evening, losing a spot in the IPL 5 playoffs in the process.
Things looked better earlier after Virat Kohli had won the toss and chosen to bowl first. Zaheer Khan (2/30) removed the tournament’s second highest run getter Shikhar Dhawan with a superb delivery to begin. Vinay Kumar (3/22), Prasanth Parameswaran (1/12) and Muttiah Muralitharan (1/30) all contributed to reduce DC to 51/4 with Sangakkara and White gone.
JP Duminy largely scrapped around in a 31 run partnership with Sangakkara but spectacularly let loose late in the innings in the 71 run partnership with Parthiv. Duminy had repeatedly failed to time the ball earlier but took his chance after the 15th over. He moved from 31 off 36b after 15 overs to 74 off 53b in three overs of connecting for maximums as 47 runs came off 23 balls.
Vinay finished on a high with the wickets of Parthiv Patel and Ashish Reddy in successive deliveries as Deccan Chargers were kept to just 132/7 in their 20 overs.
Dale Steyn began with a 3 run over, Chris Gayle took 24 off the second over from Manpreet Gony, the sequence reading 4-0-4-6-4-6. The next over however saw Steyn pushing him back with a short delivery then being bowled off an inside edge as Gayle tried to capitalize on width to be dismissed for 27 off 10. Steyn removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (4) in his next over to end his first spell on 2/7, leaving RCB at 36/2.
Saurabh Tiwary suffered a hamstring niggle and had to retire hurt with the score on 40/2 as AB de Villiers walked in to join Virat Kohli in the middle. The duo had just settled in 4 overs later when Amit Mishra’s double strike saw AB (4) and Mayank Agarwal (1) both go and RCB’s score slide to 57/4.
Tiwary (30) returned and with Kohli (42) added 47 runs in a brisk partnership for the 5th wicket. Tiwary succeeded in hitting Veer Pratap Singh but Kohli’s attempt to take a second six off Ashish Reddy in the 16th over saw him hole out to Gony at the long on boundary.
Steyn immediately returned and dismissed Zaheer to end with the dream figures of 3/8 and left RCB needing 29 off 18 balls. Tiwary played out Mishra’s over to bring down the equation to 22 off 12 balls.
He holed out off the first ball of the next over trying to pull Pratap Singh over midwicket but Vinay and Harshal Patel managed to bring it down to 14 off the last over. Ashish Reddy’s array of slower balls however meant that Vinay and Murali both lost their wickets trying to go for the big shots and RCB ended on 123/9, 9 short of the target.
The game even saw one of the finest fielding efforts from Deccan all season, one of the reasons they lost many close matches was addressed a bit late for their own campaign but early enough to disrupt RCB’s path to the playoffs.
The loss meant RCB stayed on 17 points, level with CSK but below them on NRR and subsequently led to their exit from the tournament, the first time the team has not made the playoffs and the Champions League T20 since 2009.
Chris Gayle finished on 733 runs with a highest score of 128*, an average of 61.08, a strike rate of 160.74 and with 59 sixes and 46 fours to his credit. AB de Villiers exits the tournament with the highest strike rate out of batsmen who’ve scored at least 300 runs, having hit 319 at an average of 39.87 and a strike rate of 161.11.
Vinay is currently at no.4 on the wicket takers list in IPL 5 with 19 wickets while Morne Morkel (25), Lasith Malinga and Sunil Narine (22 each) are ahead of him. Zaheer (17) comes in at no. 8 while Muralitharan (15) rounds up the top 10 at the end of the league stage. KP Appanna’s 4/19 against RR at Jaipur is the 10th best bowling figure in an innings in the tournament.