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All-round Royal Challengers Bangalore hand Rajasthan Royals 46-run loss in their fortress
By IPL desk
Mumbai 23 April 2012
“Where is Chris Gayle?” That was the question on everyone’s mind when RCB were two wickets down and yet the Caribbean opener was nowhere to be seen. But when Tillakaratne Dilshan (76* off 58 balls) and AB de Villiers (59* off 23 balls) raked up a tornado, everyone forgot about the Gayle storm. The duo put on an unbeaten 122-run partnership off 50 balls to breach the Rajasthan Royals’ fortress by 46 runs.
The only positive that came out of RR’s unsuccessful chase of 190 runs was Rahul Dravid’s (58 off 42 balls) delightful batting. The legendary ‘Test batsman’ pushed the accelerator without taking the class off his batting. Most of his eight boundaries came off immaculately timed cover drives.
There were a couple of flicks over the midwicket and some fine pull shots as well. However, KP Appanna got the great man caught at the extra-cover in the 14th over to bring an end to the joy that was Dravid.
Appanna, the 23-year-old left-arm spinner, had the game of his life. He capped the memorable moment of dismissing a batsman of Dravid’s class with his best Twenty20 figures. One look at his other victims – the in-form Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah, and even Shreevats Goswami – and the significance of his four for 19 goes several notches higher.
When Harshal Patel got rid of Brad Hodge in the 15th over, the hosts had lost all their in-form batsmen and also the hope of a victory. No one with the exception of captain Dravid went past the 20-run mark as the Royals finished their 20 overs at 143 for seven.
Inserted in to bat by Dravid, RCB were 67 for three after 12 overs, having lost Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal and Gayle. Brad Hogg did the damage by removing Agarwal and wrapping the dangerous Gayle on his pads. Pankaj Singh provided the first breakthrough by getting the out-of-sorts Kohli out caught in the deep. Brad Hodge held two catches even as most of his teammates had an off day in the field.
Opening the batting, Dilshan took time to get into rhythm as the ball did a bit in the first six overs. But he hung on nevertheless before unleashing a streak of ‘Dilscoops’ to stun the RR bowlers. de Villiers joined the party with his now-famous reverse sweeps. While Dilshan was scoring big on the four-o-meter (he hit 10 fours and a six), de Villiers preferred to clear the ropes with heaves over midwicket, smashing five sixes and three fours. Thanks to the duo, none of RR’s bowlers could manage to keep their economy-rate below seven.
Kolkata Knight Riders hand winless Deccan Chargers their fifth consecutive loss
By IPL desk
Mumbai 23 April 2012
Beaten by the Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in another last-over finish, the Deccan Chargers continue to languish at the bottom of the IPL 2012 table. Although they held their own against KKR and made a match out of it, DC once again failed to pull through in the end.
Earlier, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first in a rain-delayed match at the Barabati Stadium here. Kumar Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan, got DC off to a good start. However, Lakshmipathy Balaji castled Sangakkara (12) in his first over. Parthiv Patel who replaced him, added 44 runs for the second wicket with Dhawan before he was run-out. The wicketkeeper-batsman perished while attempting to sneak a second run despite being sent back by his partner.
Cameroon White, who is back in the DC side, then came to the crease, but returned to the dugout after scoring just 10 runs. A brilliant catch by Debabrata Das off Brett Lee saw the back of White. From there, it was downhill for the Chargers.
Dhawan (50) was the next to walk back to the hut, after reaching his half-century. The DC opener found Das at deep mid-wicket off Rajat Bhatia to bring an end to a well-compiled innings. Ishank Jaggi, who had found himself a place in the squad, added just three runs before hitting Sunil Narine to Brendon McCullum. In the next over, Balaji followed up with the wicket of Ankit Sharma. Dale Steyn, who came in next, was managed to score seven before he was dismissed. After hitting Narine for a six, the lower-order batsman was caught near the boundary ropes by Manoj Tiwary off the next ball.
After a careful start, DC lost wickets in a heap as they attempted to garner runs at a quicker pace. From being 81 for two, the Chargers finished with 126 for the loss of seven in 20 overs – losing five wickets for 45 runs in the space of 51 deliveries.
Chasing 127 runs, the Knight Riders lost McCullum early on. He was trapped lbw by ace pacer Dale Steyn for 10. Manvinder Bisla, who then joined the KKR skipper in the middle, lost his middle-stump to Amit Mishra a few overs later. That brought out the dependable Jacques Kallis to the crease. But soon KKR lost Gambhir as he drove pacer Anand Rajan only to find Sangakkara at mid-off. In the next over, left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma claimed the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan to keep DC in the hunt.
The seemingly easy run-chase quickly graduated into a tricky run-a-ball situation. Later, with 26 required off 24 balls Sangakkara’s team made a match of it. Steyn then struck a crucial blow by removing his South African teammate Kallis as he induced an outside edge that went into Parthiv Patel’s gloves.
Holding their nerve, DC continued to fight back but misfields and half-chances were also responsible in them losing yet another crucial encounter. With 11 required off 12 balls and Steyn having finished his quota of overs, Sangakkara handed the ball to Amit Mishra. But Tiwary and Das ensured that the scores were leveled at the end of the 19th over. A first ball wide by JP Duminy in the 20th over gave KKR a well-deserved away win.