The script could not have been written for Delhi Daredevils as they looked to end their somewhat surprising losing streak against the rampaging Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Apart from the losing the toss, almost everything went right for them.
A sensational start provided by David Warner, a good consolidating knock by A B de Villiers in the middle and an unbelievably brilliant half-century by a little known Kedar Jadhav, who incidentally was with RCB last year, made sure that Delhi ended up with a highly impressive 183 for 4.
Then, despite another good start provided by Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey, Delhi managed to stage a comeback courtesy Amit Mishra and Andrew McDonald and some atrocious running by the Bangalore batsmen.
Delhi had their noses in front right from the start. Warner went hammer and tongs from ball one and Delhi ended up crossing 50 in just over four overs. The Australian hammered 33 from 14 balls, inclusive of three fours and two sixes, and even Virender Sehwag looked sedate in comparison.
Post Warner’s dismissal, Bangalore did fight back, dismissing Sehwag and skipper Dinesh Karthik before they crossed 100. However, a smart partnership between de Villiers and Jadhav made sure that Delhi were in the hunt to post a challenging score. And after the South African was run out, five short of a deserved half-century, Jadhav took over and played an astounding knock.
His half-century came off a mere 29 balls and featured five fours and two sixes. None of the bowlers could make any impact on him as he slammed a couple of memorable boundaries off Kallis and opposition skipper Anil Kumble.
For Bangalore to overhaul the 183 set by Delhi, they needed another great start from Pandey and Kallis. And, while they did add 71, the fact that Delhi bowlers did not allow them to run away with the game, proved crucial in the end. Dirk Nannes kept things tight as usual and his bowling partner Umesh Yadav proved to be a surprise package.
The speed with which he bowled unsettled both Pandey and Kallis and different times. Still, Bangalore managed to reach a steady position before the cookie crumbled.
Kallis, after reaching a sedate 29-ball 27, fell trying to open his arms. An attempted slog sweep was missed and Amit Mishra had struck once again for Delhi. That was the beginning of the end for Bangalore. The chase deteriorated rather rapidly thereafter. Yet again, Pandey fell in the 30s.
On a day when Kallis failed, he should have gone on to do much better. Some dreadful running by Bangalore did not help matters either. Rahul Dravid lasted just one ball and Eoin Morgan could not prove his big-hitting prowess.
The lower half of the batting collapsed in a heap. If Bangalore lost by a somewhat respectable margin of 17 runs, it was only due to some good hitting by Virat Kohli (38*) towards the end.
All said and done, Delhi were the better of the teams on the day and deserved to win.
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