Match Report: Q1 - GL vs RCB

Sensational ABD drives RCB to VIVO IPL 2016 Final

Mumbai 25 May 2016
A sensational innings from AB de Villiers rescued Royal Challengers Bangalore from a dire situation and helped them book a place in the Final of VIVO IPL 2016. In the first of the Playoff matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, RCB were tottering at 68 for 6 in pursuit of 159, when the Superman from South Africa took control and powered his team over the line. RCB got past the finish line in the 19th over, winning the match by 4 wickets.

M57: GL vs RCB – Man of The Match – AB de Villiers
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RCB were in dire straits when their skipper Virat Kohli was dismissed for a duck and the big-hitting Chris Gayle was dismissed for 9 in the fourth over. KL Rahul fell for a first-ball duck, Shane Watson edged to slip and Sachin Baby tamely drove to the man at cover as RCB slipped to 29 for 5 before the end of the Powerplay overs. Stuart Binny (21) added 39 runs in the company of de Villiers to keep the table-toppers at bay for a brief period.

At the half-way stage, RCB were 70 for 6, needing a further 89 runs in the second half of the innings. That’s when de Villiers took charge; in the company of Iqbal Abdullah, he added 91 runs in an unbeaten partnership and took his team over the line in style.

Given the position his team was in, the need of the hour was caution, and de Villiers exercised plenty of caution and batted conservatively early on; at the conclusion of fourteen overs, he had 47 from 32 balls against his name. That’s when he decided it was time to step on the gas; he flat-batted a Dwayne Smith delivery in the fifteenth over to bring up his half-century, and sent the next ball in orbit. The first delivery of the 16th over – bowled by Shadab Jakati – was swept into the stands at square leg. In the next over, the experienced Praveen Kumar was at the receiving end; he deposited the ball into the crowds at midwicket and then reverse swept one past the fielder at point. As a result of the blitz, the required run-rate which was 10.50 at the end of the 14th over, had come down to a modest 7.00.

Iqbal Abdullah hit three boundaries of the last three deliveries of the 18th over to all but seal the deal. AB de Villiers remained unbeaten on 79, made from 47 balls and aided with five fours and as many sixes, while Iqbal Abdullah remained undefeated on 33, made from 25 balls. RCB got home with ten balls to spare.

On the bowling front, Dhawal Kulkarni broke the backbone of RCB with a sensational spell of bowling; the Gujarat Lions speedster delivered the ball in just the areas batsmen found difficult to negotiate and picked up four wickets before the fielding restrictions were relaxed. Kulkarni ended with career-best figures of 4-1-14-4. The left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was impressive too; on a surface which afforded a bit to the spin bowlers, he varied his pace and trajectory, and finished with figures of 4-0-21-2. Shadab Jakati came in for plenty of stick, conceding 45 runs in his three overs.

Earlier in the evening, the Gujarat Lions, put in to bat, slipped to 9 for 3, losing Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and Suresh Raina in the first four overs. The innings was put back on track by an 85-run partnership between Dwayne Smith and Dinesh Karthik. Smith, 73 from 41 balls, took a liking for the RCB spinners and plundered them; he scored 51 runs off 23 balls against the two spinners. Karthik’s 26 was the second-highest score of the Lions’ innings. Eklavya Dwivedi (19 from 9 balls) and Dhawal Kulkarni (10 from 4 balls) also made useful contributions at the end. The latter was run out off the last ball of the innings and Gujarat Lions were bowled out for 158; it was the second time this season that GL had been dismissed, and both those instances were against RCB.

For RCB, Shane Watson was the most successful bowler, picking up four wickets, which also earned him the Purple Cap. Iqbal Abdullah picked up two wickets – those of the two openers, as did Chris Jordan. Yuzvendra Chahal leaked 42 runs in his four overs, but picked up the big wicket of Dwayne Smith, caught at long off.

Brief Score

Gujarat Lions 158 all out in 20.0 Overs (Dwayne Smith 73, Dinesh Karthik 26, Shane Watson 4-29) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 159-6 in 18.2 Overs (AB de Villiers 79*, Iqbal Abdullah 33*, Dhawal Kulkarni 4-14) by 4 wickets.

Man of the Match:
AB de Villiers, for his unbeaten 79.
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