Match Report: M56 - DD vs RCB

RCB bowlers knock DD out; help team seal Playoff berth

Mumbai 22 May 2016
For most part of the league stages of VIVO IPL 2016, the bowling department had been a bugbear for Royal Challengers Bangalore. But not on Sunday evening when they came up against the Delhi Daredevils in the final league fixture of the season. In a crucial do-or-die contest, the RCB bowlers brought their ‘A’ game to the park and strangled the Delhi Daredevils to a modest 138-8. When it was their turn to chase, RCB rode on a half-century from their run-machine – skipper Virat Kohli – to chase down the runs in the 19th over. The 6-wicket win meant RCB, who had won only two of their first seven matches of the season, not only qualified for the Playoffs, but also finished the league stage at second place and will therefore have two chances of qualifying for the final. The defeat meant the end of the road for the Delhi Daredevils, who finish with seven wins and as many defeats.

Earlier in the evening, the RCB captain won the toss and gave the home side the opportunity of setting a target. In the face of a disciplined bowling performance from the visitors and on a pitch where stroke-making was difficult, DD lost wickets at regular intervals; there was never a phase in the innings when the DD batsmen were scoring runs freely.

de Kock, who had earlier scored a century against this opponent in the reverse-leg in Bengaluru, once again stood tall. The South African had hit three boundaries and a six by the time the fielding restrictions were relaxed at the end of the sixth over. Thereafter though, with wickets falling at the other end, he chose to shun the aggressive methods for the more efficient methods and resorted to rotating the strike; he got to his half-century at the start of the 14th over – needing 43 balls to get to the milestone. He was dismissed for 60 (52 balls), when he attempted to go aerial against Yuzvendra Chahal, but holed out to long-off. The left-hander was involved in partnerships of 31 with Karun Nair and 29 with Sanju Samson, among others, before he was seventh out, at the start of the 17th over.

Chris Morris, who reclaimed his place in the Delhi Daredevils XI at the expense of JP Duminy, played a cameo at the end; batting at number eight, the South African scored 27 from 18 balls and remained unbeaten. Delhi Daredevils finished at 138-8, 20 runs short as their captain admitted in the post-match chat. In as many as nine of their 20 overs, DD scored less than a run a ball; there were only four overs in the innings where the home side managed to score 10 runs or more in an over.

For RCB, Chahal was the most successful bowler; the leg-spinner picked up three wickets, to take his tally of wickets in the season to 19 – and thereby clinched the Purple Cap. Chris Gayle rolled his arm over and collected two wickets in his two overs, while Sreenath Arvind and Chris Jordan collected a wicket each.

RCB were jolted at the start of their chase when Chris Morris dismissed Gayle for 1 and Zaheer Khan extracted extra bounce and had AB de Villiers (6) fending to the man at cover point. At 17-2, there must have been just a few nerves in the visitors’ dressing room. But the presence of Virat Kohli, who looked determined, and a quick fire 38 from KL Rahul must have quickly doused any tension building up in the dressing room. The third wicket pair added 66 runs in 7.3 overs, with Rahul playing dominant partner. The Karnataka batsman drove through cover, cut through point, pulled for a six and even played the reverse sweep in his 23-ball 38.

Rahul was dismissed in the eleventh over when the ball took the inside edge of his bat and rolled onto his stumps. Shortly after, Shane Watson gave Pawan Negi his first wicket of the season when he picked out the midwicket fielder in the 15th over.

At the other end was Kohli, accumulating runs without a fuss. It wasn’t the usually fluent and stroke-filled half-century. Aware that the required run rate wasn’t too demanding, the RCB captain operated in second-gear for most part of his knock; he was happy to play second fiddle to Rahul and kept turning the strike over to him. He stayed around till the end and ensured the job was done. Fittingly', he struck the winning runs – he collected a quick single after driving Carlos Brathwaite to mid-on. The RCB captain finished unbeaten on 54, and had hit six boundaries in his 45-ball knock.

For DD, skipper Zaheer Khan bowled a testing spell upfront and finished with figures of 1-30. Chris Morris, Negi and Brathwaite picked up one wicket each too.

Brief Score

Delhi Daredevils 138-8 in 20.0 Overs (Quinton de Kock 60, Chris Morris 27*, Yuzvendra Chahal 3-32, Chris Gayle 2-11) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 139-4 in 18.1 Overs (Virat Kohli 54*, KL Rahul 38, Zaheer Khan 1-18) by 6 wickets.

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli, for his unbeaten 54 (45 balls).
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