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In his very first IPL season, RCB’s Ravi Rampaul has been a part of nail biting finishes, comprehensive wins and heart wrenching loses. His individual wicket tally has been an impressive 12 wickets from nine games.
At the JSCA stadium on Sunday against theKolkata Knight Riders, Rampaul was amongst the most economical bowlers for his team. RCB might not have secured a win at the end of the day, but they did take heart in defending a low score of 115 to take the match right down to the wire. Rampaul felt, had his team got another 15 runs on the board, the story could have been different.
“I think we were looking for something close to 130, which could have been a fighting score on that wicket,” said Rampaul as he spoke to IPLT20.com after the match. “But it was a great effort by our bowlers to take the match right till the very end. There are a lot of positives to take from this game. We got to move on quickly for the next game and get ourselves going,” added the seamer.
Rampaul also felt, the wicket was conducive to bowling and the team lost out on certain crucial aspects of the game. “It was a good wicket to bowl on, but some of the bouncers went on while some kept low. It was important to bowl the right line and length and we felt we should have done certain things differently. Had we held on to all our catches at those crucial times, the result could have been different”.
Talking about dropped catches, one could not help but ask about Abhimanyu Mithun’s bungling off Jacques Kallis in the third over of the match. Kallis had scored just three then and on went on to secure a five-wicket victory for KKR. Did Rampaul have a chat with Mithun after the game?
With a smile, Rampaul said, “Look! That is how it goes. At times you take a mind-blowing catch, at times you misjudge it, it happens to the best of us. Even Keiron Pollard dropped three the other day. We have to move on from such situations and comeback strong in our next game.”
Rampaul was of the view that RCB fancied their chances even though they had just 115 on the board.“Our plan was to take early wickets and put them under pressure. We were very much in the game throughout, and our hopes got stronger when we could strike as early as in the second ball of the match. We had got a crucial wicket within the Power Play, but unfortunately we could not build on it and we had to go down losing”.
When asked if the situation could have been different had RCB played an extra spinner instead of a pacer, considering the slow nature of the wicket, Rampaul said, “The wicket was slow, but it wasn’t turning as well. Bowling in the right areas was the key and the bowlers who bowled to a good line and length succeeded. It was all about having variations in your bowling on this wicket”.
A look at the points table would say that most of the top six teams are in with a Play-Off chance. The competition is neck to neck and Rampaul said the next two games were very crucial, especially after the loss against KKR. “We are very much alive in the tournament, but we still have two games remaining and we look forward to winning both the games, getting us to 20 points on the table. We have to make sure that we end in the top four”.
115: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s total – their lowest in IPL2013. They had made 130 for 8 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Hyderabad. 20: JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi became the 20th Indian ground to host an IPL match.
4: Number of times Sunil Narine has taken four wickets in an IPL match. He becomes the first bowler to do so. Five other players – Anil Kumble, Munaf Patel, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Amit Mishra and Lasith Malinga – have taken three four-wicket hauls.
3: Number of times Chris Gayle has scored 600 runs in an IPL edition – for third consecutive year! He had made 608 in 2011 and 733 in 2012. No one else has done this more than once.
2: Number of bowlers to take 20 wickets in an IPL edition on two occasions. Sunil Narine emulated Lasith Malinga, who had taken 28 wickets in 2011 and 22 in 2012. Narine took 24 in 2012 and has 22 in 2013.