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Gayle, de Villiers star in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s triumph over Kings XI Punjab
By IPL desk
Mumbai 21 April 2012
Although they posted their highest total of the season, Kings XI Punjab lost their second consecutive match at home. The hosts were comprehensively beaten by the Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. With a 131-run partnership, the highest in IPL 2012 so far, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers guided the visitors to their third win of the season.
RCB bowlers backed their skipper’s decision to bowl first by picking up key wickets. Debutant Nitin Saini’s off-stump was shaken by Zaheer Khan, who came round the wicket to the opener and got an inside edge that dislodged the bails. In his next over, the left-arm pacer sent back Paul Valthaty. The opener went for a shot over mid-off only to find AB de Villers, who had handed the wicketkeeping gloves to KB Arun Karthik for this match.
A couple of overs later, Shaun Marsh was castled by Andrew McDonald, who had replaced Tillakaratne Dilshan in the side. In absence of Adam Gilchrist, who missed the game due a hamstring injury, it was crucial for the in-form Shaun Marsh to stay at the crease. The No.3 batsman once again looked in good nick as he timed the ball well on the way to his 17-ball 26 that included a six over McDonald’s head earlier in the innings. With three wickets down for 57 runs, David Miller came out to join the stand-in captain, David Hussey, who is one of the most experienced campaigners in Twenty20 cricket. But McDonald, who bowled his quota on the trot, sent back the debutant in his last over to finish with two wickets.
Running out of time, Hussey decided to go after Harshal Patel and was dropped by Chris Gayle, who was running backwards, off the second ball. But after conceding 11 runs off the first five balls, the bowler uprooted Hussey’s middle stump off the last ball of the same over.
With five overs left and five men down and 105 runs on the board, Azhar Mahmood came to the crease and bludgeoned RCB’s attack. Playing his first game in the IPL, the 37-year-old breathed life into the host’s innings with a 14-ball 33-run cameo. He smashed Patel for a four over mid-off and six over square-leg as KXIP collected 13 runs off that over. In the next over, Mahmood hit Vinay Kumar for a couple of boundaries.
The hosts picked 14 runs off that over. Though Zaheer Khan was not smashed around like his teammates, he conceded 10 runs in the penultimate over. Bowling the last over, Vinay dismissed Mandeep Singh off the first ball, but Mahmood and Piyush Chawal gleaned 14 runs off it.
Defending 163, Parvinder Awana dealt a double blow in the second over claiming Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli to leave RCB reeling at eight for two. Bowling a tight spell, the pacer struck again three overs later to send back Saurabh Tiwary. After Tiwary top-edged only to find the keeper’s gloves, de Villiers joined Chris Gayle at the crease. Although they were three wickets down, the visitors still had two of their best batsmen at the crease. The duo went about the task meticulously milking runs off the KXIP bowlers, and they ensured that they didn’t lose any more wickets before putting their side in a dominating position.
The home team failed to capitalize on the early breakthroughs, and RCB cruised towards the target with ease. Although he didn’t smash the bowlers early on, Gayle he did play big shots later to keep the pressure on the home team. He was ably supported by de Villiers, who scored prolifically at the other end. Even as the visitors inched towards the victory, Awana inserted drama into the game with the wicket of Chris Gayle to finish with a four-for, while Chawla trapped de Villiers (52 off 39 balls) lbw in the 19th over. Before being caught by Hussey at extra-cover, Gayle hit 87 (4x6, 8x4) off 56 balls.
McDonald and Vettori then took RCB across the line with the former hitting a boundary off Mahmood to seal the win.
Ajitabh Rajan helps Deccan Chargers’ owners win final-over thriller against Delhi Daredevils
By IPL staff
New Delhi 20 April 2012
Although their IPL team is yet to open its account in the fifth edition of the IPL, the Deccan Chargers owners led by Gayatri Reddy beat the Delhi Daredevils owners here tonight. In the first Owners' Match of IPL 2012, DC overcame DD by seven runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla after the Chargers lost to the Daredevils in Match 23 of IPL 2012 earlier in the evening.
In the ten-over-a-side match, Man-of-the-Match, Ajitabh Rajan’s all-round performance helped the visitors win a final-over thriller after Gayatri Reddy won the toss and opted to bat. Ajitabh claimed four wickets, three off which came in the last over. With DD requiring 12 off six balls, he first bowled young Ruchir and then sent back Raju, and finished with the wicket of Trent off the last ball.
Ajitabh had earlier contributed nine runs to DC total. As they defended 63 runs, he was well supported by DC’s assistant coach Kanwaljeet Singh who picked two wickets. Kanwaljeet received the best bowler award for his effort. While Dr Zahoor, who had also contributed 11 runs, received the best fielder award for his brilliant effort in the field.
Chasing a competitive total, the Daredevils were in the match until the eighth over. The home team was 51 for the loss of two after eight overs, and required 13 off 12 balls. But DD managed to score only one run the penultimate over by Kanwaljeet. They then lost wickets in a heap in the last over, and failed to reach the target.
The awards were given away by Mr. GM Rao, the owner of the Delhi Daredevils.