IPL desk in Mumbai 18 April 2012 - 12:18am IST
Report: Match 21 – RCB v PWI
Batsmen deliver thrilling six-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore
Earlier, upon winning the toss and opting to bat first, PWI posted a challenging score thanks to some solid contributions from their top-order batsmen. Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder gave their side a perfect start as they brought up the 50-run mark in just 5.3 overs. It was Ryder who was the early aggressor as the Kiwi batsman smacked Zaheer Khan for a couple of boundaries and smashed Harshal Patel for a six during his 22-ball 34, before he was caught by Mayank Agarwal at the end of the seventh over.
Uthappa upped the scoring-rate following Ryder’s dismissal. The India batsman hit Tillakaratne Dilshan for consecutive boundaries by employing the reverse sweep in the 10th over to bring up his half-century. RCB, though, had some respite when they got rid of Sourav Ganguly (6) and Uthappa (69) in the space of eight deliveries between the 12th and 13th overs to leave the visitors at 117 for three.
Marlon Samuels, however, ensured that the PWI innings didn’t lose momentum at the end. The West Indies batsman hit a couple of sixes in a 20-ball innings of 34. And with Steven Smith (16 off 14) and Angelo Mathews (10 off seven balls) contributing with a couple of cameos, PWI finished at 182 for six in 20 overs.
RCB started slowly in reply losing Tillakaratne Dilshan (4), Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli (16) with the score only reaching 76 at the end of the first 12 overs.
With 107 required off the last eight overs, and the asking-rate having climbed to a steep 13.37-an-over, Chris Gayle then turned the match on its head as he bludgeoned a hapless Rahul Sharma for five consecutive sixes in the 13th over. But with Gayle (81 off 48 balls) falling to Ashish Nehra in the 16th over, the tide turned once again in PWI’s favour.
It was at this juncture that AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary came together to produce the partnership of the match. The pair hit a boundary and a six each to bring RCB to within 28 runs of the target with two overs left to be bowled in the game. Then, with Ashok Dinda conceding just seven runs in the 19th over, de Villiers hit Nehra for a boundary and two sixes off consecutive deliveries before taking a single of the fifth delivery of the last over to hand Tiwary the strike. With the hosts requiring three to win, and the fans at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium hoping for a dramatic win, Tiwary clubbed a length ball from Nehra over long-on for six to deliver a tense run-chase in favour of the Bangalore franchise.
Man-of-the-match: Chris Gayle for his blustery 48-ball 81 (4x4, 8x6)