Yuvi powers RCB to win over Delhi, keeps playoff hopes alive
Royal Challengers Bangalore won the first of their 5 must win games to remain alive in the 2014 IPL, beating Delhi Daredevils by 16 runs at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday night.
Royal Challengers Bangalore began their quest to squeeze into the playoffs which meant they would have to win each of their remaining 5 games beginning today against the Delhi Daredevils. Sachin Rana, Abu Nechim and Muttiah Muralitharan came in for Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda and Albie Morkel. Kevin Pietersen won the toss and elected to field first looking to exploit conditions and chasing the target RCB set them in case rains come into play later during the night.
DD surprised everyone by opening the bowling with JP Duminy. After a quiet first over, Chris Gayle cut loose, hitting Shami for a six in the second over and Duminy in the third over which yielded the home team 13 runs. Parthiv Patel accompanied the big West Indies batsman in trading blows but then youngster Rahul Shukla managed to get Gayle out thanks to an inside edge to the stumps. RCB reached 34 runs at the end of 6 overs for the loss of a wicket.
Kohli walked in at no.3 but his poor run continued as he was narrowly run out in the ninth over. AB de Villiers and Parthiv then sought to steady the innings to ensure no more wickets fell. Parthiv was then caught by Dinesh Karthik off the bowling of Mohammed Shami. Out walked stylish left hander Yuvraj Singh and he was aggressive right from the word go with de Villiers also looking to take on the bowling at the other end. However, AB’s luck deserted him as he tried to hoof Kaul over midwicket losing his stumps in the process. With 5 overs left in the innings and Yuvraj and Rana at the crease RCB were in a tough spot at 108/5.
Yuvraj however did not get bogged down and smashed Imran Tahir for three sixes in the 17th over and then hit a big six down the leg side off Shami. One could sense the momentum shifting into RCB’s favour. He made the most of the overs at the death, taking on the inexperienced Rahul Shukla in the final over of the innings and smashing him for four sixes to loot 27 runs off it. RCB had set the Delhi Daredevils a target of 187.
RCB used a ploy similar to Delhi’s by opening the bowling with an offspinner and it worked wonders as Muralitharan struck in the first over to dismiss Murali Vijay. Mitchell Starc shared the ball with Murali and he struck in his first over too, sending Quinton de Kock’s stumps flying all over the place. At the end of powerplay KP and Agarwal managed to steady things for the visitors at 46/2.
Abu Nechim then got RCB a third wicket, picking up Agarwal who had played himself in and had pulled off a few big hits. KP and Karthik then counter attacked the RCB bowling but Kevin Pietersen fell trying to clear the fence after he came dancing down the track to Chahal and ended up being stumped. Karthik was the next to return to the dugout as Murali got his second wicket of the night with Chahal taking an easy catch. At the end of the 15th over DD reached 119 for the loss of 5.
JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav, Delhi's best batting pair of the season then sent shivers through the RCB camp, getting the big hits with ease to keep Delhi in with a chance.
Mitchell Starc then stepped up to the occasion in the 18th over dismissing the very dangerous looking JP Duminy and putting RCB in a very strong position to win the game. Delhi required 40 runs from the last two overs out of which Starc had to bowl one. The Australian quickie then showed why he is a top international bowler, bowling excellently to win the game for RCB by 16 runs.