All-round RCB demolish RR

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Cricket
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Royal Challengers Bangalore have been known to be heavily dependent on their superstars to come good. This season, however, there has been a refreshing change with the likes of Mandeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal and Sarfaraz Khan supporting the mega stars in the team. Today was another example of RCB’s young guns coming to their rescue as Mandeep, Harshal Patel and Sreenath Aravind sparkled for the team to help beat Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 Eliminator in Pune.

It still needed one of RCB’s big stars to guide their younger players, with AB de Villiers playing a stunning innings with the bat. The right-hander slammed 66 off 38 and together with Mandeep Singh (54* off 34) helped RCB overcome a tough start. The pair added a sizzling 113-run stand to lift their side out of trouble and help them end with a daunting total of 180/4. Defending a strong total, RCB’s bowlers put in a clinical effort as they took wickets at regular intervals to restrict the inaugural champions to 109 and win by 71 runs. RCB will now play Chennai Super Kings for a spot in the final alongside Mumbai Indians.

Sreenath Aravind, who was brought in for this game in place of Ashok Dinda, repaid his captain’s faith as he struck early to send back Shane Watson in the second over. He also had James Faulkner out caught and bowled later in the innings to end with fantastic figures of two for 20 off his four overs.

Harshal Patel, too, chipped in with the important wickets of Sanju Samson and Karun Nair as RCB maintained a tight leash on the scoring despite Ajinkya Rahane (42) looking in decent touch. Rahane was the fifth wicket down for RR, when he top-edged a slog sweep off Chahal to be out caught in the 14th over. The wicket evaporated whatever little hopes RR had of an upset win as they went on to lose their last five for 17 runs to be bowled out for a lowly 109.

Earlier, having won the toss and opting to bat first, RCB made a steady start to their innings with Chris Gayle getting into his stride early. He looked in ominous touch, scoring the first 26 off the 38 his team added in the first five overs. However, Dhawal Kulkarni got his team the prized wicket of the West Indian by bowling him for 27. Kulkarni added another important wicket to his tally as he had Virat Kohli out caught and bowled in his next over. RCB had slipped to 46/2 and looked in danger of being restricted to a low score.

ABD and Mandeep Singh, however, had other ideas. They started slowly, scoring 4 off the first 13 deliveries they played, but Mandeep cut loose soon after. Kulkarni was smacked for a six and a four, before James Faulkner went for two fours in the over. de Villiers, too, got into the act as he slammed Ankit Sharma for two sixes and a four in an over.

The onslaught continued into the death overs with overs 16 and 17 giving RCB a combined 24 runs. ABD notched up his fifty in the next over with a top-edge for a six and a clean strike over long-on for his fourth six of the innings. He was run-out in the penultimate over of the innings, but he had already added 66 off just 38 deliveries.

The wicket did little to stall RCB’s momentum as Dinesh Karthik, Sarfaraz Khan and Mandeep combined to whack 21 off the last eight balls to give their side 180/4. It proved to be 71 runs too many for RR.


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