Dilshan, de Villiers and Appanna seal incredible 46 run win
Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers produced a counter-attack for the ages before KP Appanna halted the charging Rajasthan Royals batsmen as the Royal Challengers Bangalore captured an incredible 46 run win at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday night.
The Royal Challengers were in big trouble when Chris Gayle fell ill just before play started after RCB had been put into bat by RR. The situation was even direr when they were reduced to 67/3 in the 12th over. Kohli, Agarwal and a barely recovered Gayle had managed 35 runs between them but RR had chipped away at the line up steadily and put a sleeper hold on the run rate.
Promoted to the uncomfortable role of opener at a very short notice, Kohli looked in good touch but was dismissed trying to play an extravagant shot over extra cover. Agarwal swung for the stands but was caught at the ropes and Gayle was trapped by a quicker one, both off Hodge.
Dilshan had been struggling to time it till then but he kept at it and anchored the innings while de Villiers at the other end hit the ground running as the duo racked up 122 runs in the next 50 balls, allowing RCB to post a massive 189/3. de Villiers brought up the second fastest 50 of IPL 2012 off just 21 balls to remain unbeaten on 59 off 23 with 5 sixes while Dilshan moved from 38 off 39 to 76* off 58.
Aggressive running heaped pressure on RR’s fielders and push the bowlers to lose their control. RR had scored 82/1 in the last 5 overs of their innings in their previous encounter, RCB today posted 82/0 in the same stretch.
Rahane was expected to provide an encore of his innings from last week but despite an early reprieve where a plumb LBW off Vinay Kumar was turned down, he managed only 13 off 18. Rahul Dravid took the onus of scoring upon himself, mixing cross batted slogging with classical shots when the line and length allowed, bringing up his 50 off just 34 balls.
Owais Shah and Shreevats Goswami however threw away their wickets as Appanna bowled a beautiful spell and Dravid went out trying to keep up with an ever increasing required rate. Appanna had scalped the Royals’ top 4 in his unchanged spell of four overs. As one of the bowlers that RR’s batsmen were sure to target, he delivered beyond expectations with 4 for just 19.
Patel got Hodge in the next over to end hopes for RR while Zaheer ended Cooper’s enterprising cameo to shut the door on them. Stuart Binny and Brad Hogg scampered around to add 24 runs before Patel ended the partnership off the last ball of the innings, sealing a 46 run win and serving revenge for the carnage at the M Chinnaswamy on 17th April. RR ended on 143/7, RCB capturing their third win on a ground where RR have lost only 6 games in IPL history.
Adjudged the Man of the Match, AB de Villiers called upon KP Appanna to share the award with him, a touching gesture of the recognition the young man commanded with his nerveless display.
RCB will be glad to have put a ghost from earlier in this campaign to rest and snatched two crucial away wins while at it. They will need the momentum for their next clash against the Chennai Super Kings at home on Wednesday, another opportunity to set the record straight after a first leg that went wrong.