Royal Challengers Bangalore 183-4 (Kohli 99) beat
Delhi Daredevils 179-7 by four runs
Indian Premier League 2013, Delhi
Report by Chetan Narula
Royal Challengers Bangalore continued their push towards an Indian Premier League 2013 play-off spot, with a hard-fought four-run win over Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Bangalore now have 16 points from 13 matches, while the hapless Daredevils finish their home games with another loss, at just six points from the same number of games.
Chasing 184 for victory, the hosts were never in the chase from the beginning, but managed to make things close in the end.
Mahela Jayawardene (19) and Virender Sehwag (18) gave them a quick start, but more than 25 runs were needed from the openers to chase this down. The duo fell two overs apart and then David Warner (4) was bowled, reducing Delhi to 60 for three in the seventh over.
For once Unmukt Chand fired and along with Ben Rohrer, raised visions of a fighting comeback, as they put on 58 runs for the fourth wicket. Chand played some attacking cricket, scoring 41 runs off 35 balls, with four fours and one six.
Rohrer played a decent supporting role, making 32 off 27 balls, inclusive of four fours, but the asking rate was always climbing and they both perished trying to force the pace.
Rohrer's departure in the 15th over triggered a mini-collapse and Chand as well as Kedar Jadhav (8) too went in quick succession. It brought Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel together, and both of them hit some lusty blows to bring Delhi on par with Bangalore’s run-rate at the end of 19th over.
The big difference was the last over bowled in two innings. While Umesh Yadav had bled runs, Jaidev Unadkat bowled a tight one, in keeping with his spell of five for 25, and took the Royal Challengers to a narrow win.
Pathan was unbeaten on 23 off 11 balls, with two fours and two sixes, while Morkel hit 19 off 10, with three fours. Moises Henriques (1-21) and Ranganath Vinay Kumar (1-43) were the other wicket-takers, as the Daredevils finished at 179 for seven in their allotted twenty overs.
Earlier, Delhi won the toss and captain David Warner put Bangalore into bat. His elevation to captaincy came ahead of their next match at Chennai, where Mahela Jayawardene will have to sit out.
It had a good effect early on, as a sell-out Kotla crowd was disappointed when Pathan (1-24) bowled Chris Gayle (4) in the second over. Cheteshwar Pujara (17) tried to get things going again, but in a bid to speed up the scoring, he was bowled by Siddhath Kaul (1-36).
That brought Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli and Moises Henriques together, and their partnership stabilised the innings. The duo added 57 runs for the third wicket, laying a platform for striking hard at Delhi later in the innings. Henriques was out caught by Shahbaz Nadeem (1-23) off his own bowling, after scoring 26 runs off 22 balls. He hit three fours.
This brought AB de Villiers to the crease and he started slowly, building again with Kohli while getting himself in. In the meantime, Kohli completed his half-century off 44 balls, and after that, the onslaught truly began.
The two batsmen played every shot possible in the book, and more, particularly de Villiers who used his swivelling feet to good use. Delhi gave away 83 runs in the last five overs, as Kohli and De Villiers put on 94 runs for the fourth wicket.
Their runs came off only 40 balls as Yadav went for 65 runs in his four overs and Royal Challengers Bangalore finished at a tall 183 for four.
De Villiers scored 32 not out off 17 balls, with two fours and two sixes, but the real star was Kohli, who brought up his best score in IPL, making 99 runs off 58 balls, with 10 fours and four sixes.
He was run out off the last ball of the innings, walking off to an ovation from his ‘home’ crowd.
© Cricket World 2013
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