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Batsmen deliver thrilling six-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore
By IPL desk
Mumbai 18 April 2012
In yet another last-ball finish, the Royal Challengers Bangalore trumped the Pune Warriors India by six wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. After the visitors notched up a score of 182, Saurabh Tiwary hit a six off the last ball to give the home team their first win in four matches.
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. Scorecard
Man-of-the-match:Chris Gayle for his blustery 48-ball 81 (4x4, 8x6)
Heroic Hodge scripts Royals’ comeback win against Chargers
By IPL desk
Mumbai 17 April 2012
A brilliant batting performance from the Rajasthan Royals ensured that they continued their unbeaten run at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Brad Hodge scored 48* to see the Royals home along with Dishant Yagnik who hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.
Chasing 196, the Royals began their innings with intent and execution. Openers Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane took a real likening to the visitors’ bowling attack. The Royals duo took advantage of every opportunity provided by the Chargers. Dravid looked in inspired form as he pulled and cut his way to a well-made 42 off 24 balls. Daniel Christian was clearly struggling to cope with Dravid’s aggression but somehow managed to dismiss the veteran with a misdirected slower delivery.
Then, the onus was on Rahane to pick up where his skipper left off. Ashok Menaria (22) was the new man at the crease, and he helped the Royals settle into a nice rhythm. But the left-hander perished while looking to up the ante. Meanwhile, the Chargers were pinning their hopes on star spinner Amit Mishra and the tweaker responded by sending Rahane (44 off 31 balls) back to the dugout.
At 121 for three, the Royals required Owais Shah to stay there till the end. But the Englishman rode his luck on his way to 12. He eventually holed out at midwicket to give Mishra his third wicket. Brad Hodge took on the mantle to push the Royals across the line, and the Aussie stuck around till the very end. With eleven required off the last over, the Royals got home with two balls to spare. Yagnik (9) smashed two boundaries off Dale Steyn, in the final over, to register a remarkable five-wicket win.
Earlier, Chargers’ captain Kumar Sangakkara didn’t hesitate in electing to bat first after winning the toss. His decision paid immediate dividends with the skipper and Shikhar Dhawan assuming total control of their innings right from the get-go. The left-handed duo looked confident as they tackled the Royals’ bowlers with the utmost ease. The home side’s frontline bowlers were proving to be ineffective, and it took a part-timer to break DC’s dominance. While Brad Hodge got smacked for a boundary and a six off his first two deliveries by Sangakkara (44), he managed to dismiss the Sri Lankan off his third delivery to end the 94-run opening partnership.
Dhawan (52) followed suit in the 14th over, as he timed a Siddharth Trivedi delivery well only to find the fielder at deep square leg. The Royals looked like staging a comeback, but Daniel Christian and JP Duminy carried forth the DC openers’ good work. They smashed the home side’s bowlers all over the ground. 28-year-old Duminy looked like a man on a mission as he unleashed five majestic sixes during his impressive knock of 58*. Christian (29) also played his part to help the Chargers to reach 196/2 in 20 overs. Scorecard
Man-of-the-Match:Brad Hodge, for seeing the Rajasthan Royals home by scoring 48* in just 21 balls