A superlative 75 not out by Paul Collingwood, amidst the fall of regular wickets, and some extremely tight bowling and fielding later on saw Delhi Daredevils overcome a strong Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Thanks to Collingwood’s effort, Delhi managed to post a handy 184 for 5. And, on a typical Kotla pitch, that was getting slower by the over, Bangalore never quite got going.
They fell well behind the run rate even before the first strategic break was taken. And, when they tried to open up, they only kept losing wickets to eventually succumb to a 37-run loss.
The first half of the game was essentially the tale of Collingwood vs the Bangalore bowlers, with the former triumphing hands on. He arrived at the crease after Virender Sehwag (35) had been dismissed after a brisk start and Gautam Gambhir was run out for only one soon after.
David Warner was still going great guns and seemed like he would be the man to pull Delhi out of trouble. But, he perished on 33, well-caught in the deep by Virat Kohli off Anil Kumble. At 83 for 3 in the 10th over, it was anybody’s game. Collingwood went on to lose, Dinesh Karthik to a brilliant diving catch by Cameron White. But, that only inspired him onto better things.
Collingwood lofted the ball with effortless ease and on occasions when he threw his bodyweight behind the ball, it delivered massive results. For a man renowned for being a street-smart cricketer, this was an extraordinary show of power hitting. He clearly demonstrated that there was more to his game than just the cheekiness.
The result was he ended up hitting as many as seven sixes. After Kumble bowled three dot balls to him in one over, he stepped out and responded with a mighty swing that went the distance. Other bowlers were treated with even more disdain as sixes flowed from Collingwood’s bat. Length balls from Vinay Kumar, Kallis and Mithun disappeared, perhaps also a result of Bangalore underestimating his firepower. Thanks to Collingwood, Delhi went on to register what turned out to be a match-winning total.
To compete, Bangalore needed a brisk start. In their endeavour, they opened with White, but it did not pay off. He perished for four while trying to fulfil his task. The Delhi bowlers then stifled the batsmen completely. Even those of the pedigree of Kallis and Kevin Pietersen struggled to find the gaps.
At one stage, nine runs came in three overs. Bangalore had no option but to break free after that dry spell and the result wasn’t what they were looking for. Pietersen was castled by Pradeep Sangwan for a hard-earned 16. And, from thereon began a procession that never ended. Amit Mishra and Sangwan both helped themselves to 3 wickets each, even as the rest were happy to keep things under control with some accurate bowling.
Kallis did register yet another half-century while Ross Taylor shone briefly, slamming three sixes in his 10-ball stay of 22. Both the contributions were rather futile though in the context of the game. Bangalore did have their moments of ascendancy earlier in the game, when Delhi lost four big wickets. However, they couldn’t get the man who eventually made the difference.
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