New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils flattered to deceive once again as they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in the Capital on Sunday as Royal Challengers Bangalore finished with a 10-run win in the last game of the group stages in this edition of the cash-rich league.
Chasing 162 wasn’t expected to be a herculean task for the Delhi batsmen considering the size of the boundaries at the Kotla, but RCB skipper Virat Kohli read the wicket to perfection as he expected the slower bowlers to come into play in the second half and decided to bat first after winning the toss.
And that is exactly what happened as Pawan Negi (3/10), Harshal Patel (3/43) and Travis Head (2/30) guided Bangalore home in a campaign that has seen the team’s batsmen put up some really poor performances.
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But it all started with Avesh Khan sending back Sanju Samson for a duck in the first over itself. Shreyas Iyer came in to join Karun Nair and the latter looked clearly troubled as his pre-meditated shots didn’t get him the desired results.
Shane Watson finally ended his stay as Nair (26) hit the pacer straight to Kedar Jadhav at short mid-wicket. Rishabh Pant walked in with the score reading 41/2 in the 6th over.
Pant and Iyer looked in control as they picked the singles and the timely boundaries. In fact, they looked to have set the boat sailing in the right direction till Harshal Patel broke the 46-run stand by dismissing Iyer for 32 and then sending back Marlon Samuels for a duck.
From a comfortable 87/2, DD’s score read 87/4 and Delhi never really recovered from that shock. Corey Anderson (3) and Pat Cummins (7) too failed to provide support to Pant as DD’s score read 113/6 after 16 overs.
Although the hopes of the Delhi fans were alive till Pant was at the crease, his dismissal in the 17th over was the nail in the coffin for the Daredevils. With 49 required off the last 4 overs, it was important that Pant (45) carries on the good work and finishes the game.
But Harshal dismissed him after the left-hander hit a six off the pacer. Looking to slog, Pant misses the line of the ball and the stumps are disturbed. Delhi’s score read 119/7 and with it died all hopes.
Although Mohammed Shami (21 off 9 balls) did hit some lusty blows with his long handle, it was never going to be enough as Delhi finished on 151.
Earlier, it was a vintage knock from skipper Kohli as he hit 58 off 45 balls to guide RCB to 161 on a slightly slow Kotla wicket. While he guided the ship in the front and middle half of the innings in the company of Chris Gayle (48 off 38 balls), the final push to the innings was given by Negi as he hit 13 off the 5 balls that he face in the last over to take Bangalore past the 160-run mark.
Going into the last over, RCB’s score read 145/6 with Watson and Negi at the crease. But Negi ensured that he hit three back-to-back boundaries off Anderson in the last over as the RCB bowlers got something to defend.
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