AB de Villiers, Dilshan take down Chargers
The Royal Challengers Bangalore picked up a 5 wicket win against the Deccan Chargers at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday night.
With 9 points from 4 wins out of 10 games including one rained off fixture, the team was in need of a desperate overhaul and the skipper Daniel Vettori dropped himself so the team could play Muttiah Muralitharan. Andrew McDonald, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar and KP Appanna sat out as well with Tillakaratne Dilshan, newcomer Prasanth Parameswaran, Abhimanyu Mithun and Syed Mohammad replacing them.
Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bowl first only to see DC’s openers Daniel Harris (47) and Shikhar Dhawan (73*) post an 86 run partnership for the first wicket. Kohli gave them a breakthrough by running out Harris in the 11th over following which Cameron White (45) added 82 quick runs for the second wicket. Parameswaran caught the free flowing White when the batsman skied one up off his bowling in the 20th over. Sangakkara however finished with a flourish as DC posted an imposing 181/2 in their 20 overs.
Dilshan began with his foot on the accelerator as Deccan opened the bowling with Dhawan. The in-form Dale Steyn too was handled adeptly though he made Gayle play out a maiden over later.
Once DC’s first and second change bowlers came in the scoring rate picked up. Dilshan (71, 54b) built on his start to bring up his 50 off 29 balls while Gayle (26, 22b) looked on from the other end. The hulking Jamaican threatened to cut loose with sixes off Amit Mishra and Anand Rajan, the latter clearing the roof in the 11th over. He was however bowled off the next ball as he gave Rajan the charge only to end up yorking himself.
Mishra managed to subsequently slow down the scoring and reaped rewards with the wickets of Kohli (9) and Asad Pathan (4) in the 14th over leaving RCB to get 75 off 36 balls. Dilshan’s wicket two overs later off VP Singh saw Mayank Agarwal come in and give RCB a crucial boost as he slammed 18 off 6 with two sixes and a four. He was dismissed off the last ball of the 17th over having reduced the equation to 39 off 18. They got there in just 11 as AB de Villiers produced a masterclass of T20 hitting.
Dale Steyn, the best fast bowler in the world was treated with disdain by his SA limited overs skipper who pulled a short ball into the stands to begin before calmly flicking a Yorker to run two. A slower ball was expertly placed for a four right between two chasing fielders between deep midwicket and wide long on, then a screaming yorker was carved over extra cover for a six. He scooped the fifth ball from way outside off over short fine leg for a four before deflecting another short ball to third man to take a single and keep strike. 23 runs from 6 balls against all the magnificent fury Steyn could produce and AB walked off the conqueror.
Anand Rajan was clobbered for two fours and six off the next three balls before he took a single to give Syed Mohammad strike. Mohammad gleefully bashed a length delivery past deep midwicket for a four as RCB posted 185/5 for a sensational 5 wicket win, de Villiers unbeaten on 47 off just 17 balls.
The win helped them keep their campaign alive, taking them to 11 points off 11 games, still 6 points away from even a playoff contender's position. They have a tough stretch with 4 games on the road, two of them against the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils, beginning it on a winning note will only help.