Kohli, Yuvraj Capitalise As Delhi Flounder
Royal Challengers Bangalore 146-2 beat
Delhi Daredevils 145-4 by eight wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Sharjah
Yuvraj Singh scored an unbeaten half-century and Virat Kohli was also in the runs as the Delhi Daredevils paid for a poor performance by slumping to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Defending a modest score of 145 for four, Delhi could ill afford to let Kohli off the hook but they dropped him twice in the 12th over and from there on, any slim chances they had of winning swiftly dissipated.
Kohli made 49 not out and Yuvraj showed signs that he may just be returning to some form by hitting an unbeaten 52.
Earlier, Delhi pair JP Duminy (67 not out) and Ross Taylor (43 not out) had set a new record fifth-wicket partnership for the Daredevils as they put on 110 together.
They had needed to show that restoratative batting does have a place in Twenty20 cricket after their side made a horror start, slipping to 35 for four.
Mayank Agarwal (6) was first to go, caught by Kohli off a Mitchell Starc short ball, Dinesh Karthik edged a fine outswinger from Albie Morkel to be caught behind without scoring and then Manoj Tiwary flicked Varun Aaron to Parthiv Patel down the leg-side for one.
That was 17 for three and when Vijay fell, bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal for 18, Delhi were in all sorts of trouble.
Duminy (67 not out in 48 balls) and Taylor (43 not out in 39 balls) managed to weather the storm and indeed pressed on towards the end of the innings, the former hitting four fours and three sixes and the latter four fours.
Aaron was the pick of the bowlers with one for nine from his three overs while Duminy and Taylor got after Ashok Dinda, who leaked 51 runs in four.
However, that was not to hurt the Challengers too much, although they did lose the wicket of Nic Maddinson (4) early on.
With Chris Gayle absent through injury, it was a new-look opening combination but although Maddinson failed, Patel did not.
He was particularly severe on Shahbaz Nadeem and hit five fours as well as a maximum to lead Bangalore's charge.
He and Kohli added 56 for the second wicket which came when Patel, who hit 37 in 28 balls) was bowled by Rahul Sharma.
Yuvraj struggled early on and looked uncomfortable against quick bowling. However, Karthik opted to turn back to his spinners, allowing Yuvraj time to settle, and he began to show some of his prowess.
A strong-armed punch over long-on for six and a booming straight drive that Kohli had to avoid were joyous sights for Bangalore fans.
Delhi, whose fielding was poor, did not help themselves. Kohli was badly dropped on 23 and 24 and went on to accelerate, hurrying his side home - although it was Yuvraj who finished the stronger, on 52 in 29 deliveries with three fours and five sixes.
Kohli drilled Wayne Parnell over cover for a sumptuous six, simply carrying on from where he had left off in the ICC World Twenty20, struck Sharma down the ground for another maximum and hit the winning runs himself with some 20 balls to spare.
He finished with 49 in 38 balls.
Tomorrow's double-header opens with Chennai Super Kings taking on Kings XI Punjab and then Sunrisers Hyderabad meeting the Rajasthan Royals.
© Cricket World 2014