On this day in 2009: Manish Pandey century helps RCB beat DC
Despite the campaign ebbing and flowing, filled with numerous hurdles, RCB had reached the last game of the league phase knowing that anything but a defeat by a humongous margin would seal a spot in the semi-finals of the 2009 season. RCB were in red hot form, having notched up a hattrick of wins, and were looking to keep the momentum going as they took on the Deccan Chargers at the Supersport Park in Centurion.
With a little room to experiment, RCB promoted Manish Pandey up the order to open the innings. Deccan Chargers were well on top when Jacques Kallis was dismissed off the last ball of the second over, flicking RP Singh uppishly to square leg. Pandey was struggling to find the middle of the bat. He got a fortunate reprieve when RP Singh dropped him at third-man. The chance seemed to have changed the course of Pandey’s innings as he put away the very next ball to the square leg boundary. Roelof Van Der Merwe, who was sent in to allow Pandey to settle in, unleashed himself with consecutive boundaries off RP Singh in the fourth over of the innings.
RCB were going along at a slow pace, but they had wickets in hand. The second-wicket partnership off 55 runs between Pandey and Van Der Merwe had ensured that RCB had a solid base to take toll of the remaining overs. RCB were going along at 6.5 an over at the halfway stage and had just lost Van Der Merwe. Pandey saw an opportunity to attack when the part-time spin of T Suman was introduced. Two slog sweeps by Pandey brought about his half-century with consecutive sixers, giving the run rate a much-needed elevation. Rahul Dravid top-edged Pragyan Ojha, but by the time, the two Karnataka batsmen had put on 45 runs in 5 overs; Dravid had only contributed 6 of those runs.
Pandey’s century single-handedly took RCB to a score of 170
Runs had now started to flow off Pandey’s bat, as he kept dispatching everything in his sight to the boundary ropes. On a surface where no other RCB batsman seemed to be able to get his eye in, Pandey was playing a blinder, single-handedly taking RCB to a respectable total. Pandey took full toll of the sixteenth over of the innings bowled by Jaskaran Singh, 16 runs coming off the over, taking Pandey to 97. A brace to wide long-on brought up Pandey’s century, the first Indian to reach the milestone in the history of the IPL. RP Singh had endured a torrid evening, dropping Pandey when he was on only 2. He was entrusted to bowl the last over, and the two under-19 batsmen who had won the world cup for India a couple of years ago, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey, smashed the senior India pro for 3 sixers, which took the score to a commanding 170.
The Deccan chargers got off to a brisk start. Herschelle Gibbs was in the mood to chase the target quickly, and the last two overs of the powerplay went for a combined 41 runs, as the Gilchrist and Gibbs were making a mockery of the run-chase. RCB got a much-needed breakthrough when Gilchrist pulled an innocuous delivery by B Akhil to Van Der Merwe at deep square leg. The dismissal slowed down the Chargers’ scoring rate, as the next four overs went for only 22 runs, and the last ball of which got rid of T Suman.
The spin bowling duo of RCB skipper Anil Kumble and Roleof Van Der Merwe arrested control, as Symonds and a well-set Gibbs struggled to keep the run rate up. Gibbs pulled one straight to deep square leg in an attempt to regain control of the required rate which was now going out of hand, only to see a sprinting Manish Pandey complete the catch. When Andrew Symonds missed a slog sweep to give Van Der Merwe his first wicket, RCB had gained a firm grip on the proceedings. The death bowling of RCB held up well, the last 3 overs amounting to only 28 runs between them, giving RCB a win by 12 runs. The victory meant RCB had now overtaken their opponents of the day to finish third in the league table and were now to face Chennai Superkings in the semifinals.