Royal Challengers Bangalore 161 for 7 beat Delhi Daredevils 160 for 6 by three wickets
Daniel Vettori and J Syed Mohammad hit crucial boundaries to ensure that Virat Kohli’s half century did not go in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to chase the target of 161 with three balls to spare. Challengers looked in a bit of trouble after Kohli was dismissed, but both Vettori and Mohammad held their nerves to ensure Bangalore got home in the end despite Delhi’s comeback with the ball.
Until Kohli was at the crease, the Bangalore chase looked in control as he was finding the ropes at will during his wonderful half-century. However, David Warner scored a direct hit to run out AB de Villiers and give Delhi some inspirational hope. Only a couple of balls later, Morne Morkel cleaned up Kohli and the match was very much back in the balance. The pendulum swung as Mohammad managed to pinch two boundaries off Umesh Yadav. Vettori also played a solid hand as Bangalore got home in the last over.
While credit must be given to the abovementioned duo, it was undoubtedly Kohli who set up the victory. He hit boundary after boundary as Delhi looked clueless. And this was after Tillakaratne Dilshan was gone second ball of the innings. Kohli managed as many as six boundaries in the first ten balls he faced as Ashok Dinda and Irfan Pathan were lacklustre. Pathan in particular was disappointing as Kohli took a liking to him, flicking and driving with a lot of ease.
At the other end, Chris Gayle was getting into his act too. He began by hammering Morne Morkel for a four and a six. 62 came in the first five overs as Bangalore looked at total ease. James Hopes gave some hope to Delhi by dismissing Gayle with a shorter one but not before they had added 82 in rapid quick time. Kohli brought up his fifty very soon. But, soon Delhi had their moment too as Villiers failed to beat a Warner throw and Morkel sent back Kohli.
Wickets continued to tumble as Cheteshwar Pujara perished going for a pull. Vettori and Tiwary scraped around for a while before the latter hammered Morkel for a crucial six. Morkel had his revenge soon enough and Abhimanyu Mithun too succumbed to the pressure, before the cool heads of Mohammad and Vettori saw them through to the end with some crucial boundaries.
Earlier in the day, James Hopes scored a half century to help Delhi recover for a poor start. Zaheer Khan and S Aravind troubled the opening pair of Virender Sehwag and David Warner, with the new ball doing enough. They were never in with a chance of setting up a decent total until Hopes and Venugopal Rao combined in a fifth wicket alliance of 47. Warner was cleaned up by an incoming Zaheer snorter. Sehwag hit a few streaky boundaries before running himself out.
Thanks to the partnership between Rao and Hopes, Delhi had a decent platform with five overs to go, But, Rao lost his cool and cost Delhi some crucial runs. A few sixes from Irfan Pathan and Naman Ojha took Delhi to 160, but Bangalore had enough in their arsenal to chase it down.
Chennai were brilliant in the field
Chennai Super Kings 142 for 6 beat Pune Warriors 117 for 9 by 25 runs
Chennai Super Kings got back to their winning ways as they successfully defended a mediocre score of 142 for 6 against Yuvraj Singh’s Pune Warriors, who struggled to 117 for 9 in their allotted 20 overs to lose the game by a pretty big margin of 25 runs. Chennai were very good with the ball as well as in the field, which enabled them to outdo Pune in spite of having put up a less than competitive score on the board.
Albie Morkel and Doug Bollinger, who opened the bowling, were excellent at the start of the innings for Chennai. They bowled a number of good short deliveries on the responsive pitch and the Pune openers clearly struggled. Mohnish Mishra fell to the slow nature of the surface. He tried to guide a ball down to the third man region, but only ended up edging it onto the stumps. Jesse Ryder managed to survive the faster men, but was done in by the smart R Ashwin. The off spinner bowled an arm ball disturbed, which the left hander couldn’t read and ended up exposing his stumps.
There was more trouble for Pune as Manish Pandey also fell while trying to steer a ball from Morkel down to the third man region and, like Mishra, also ended up disturbing his stumps. Soon, Pune plunged into further difficulty as Ashwin’s carom ball turned the other away and even fooled the in form Robin Uthappa, who was beaten all ends up and was bowled round his legs. Pune never recovered from that terrible start.
M S Dhoni introduced more spin as Suraj Randiv and Suresh Raina contributed with a few quiet overs. It was up to Yuvraj and Mithun Manhas to try and bring Pune back on track. Manhas did manage a mishit six off Randiv, but perished soon after ending Bollinger to Dhoni. With wickets falling, Chennai’s fielding also improved by leaps and bounds as the runs dried up. Yuvraj managed 34 but wasn’t in his elements and another brilliant fielding effort from Shadab Jakati enabled Chennai to see the back of him. The chase had already run out of steam by then.
Earlier, Pune had done much better during their turn with the ball to restrict Chennai to 142. Chennai themselves struggled, with M Vijay failing to time the ball. Both He and Michael Hussey were lucky as a number of edges made it to the boundary, with Hussey even being dropped once. But, it wasn’t going to be long before Pune got their deserved breakthrough. Vijay fell to a bouncer from Alfonso Thomas as Nathan McCullum took the simplest of catches. Thomas soon knocked over Raina as well as Chennai struggled their way to the halfway stage of the innings.
The spin of Yuvraj and Murali Kartik kept the runs down further with only Hussey holding fort for Chennai. Dhoni helped Hussey by slamming a couple of boundaries before he was stumped going for another big one. There was more bad news for Chennai as Hussey too fell a few balls later to Jerome Taylor, while trying to add more runs in Chennai’s account. Morkel had another failure with the bat and even a six from S Badrinath only enabled to lift them to 142. In the end, thanks to Chennai’s bowling and fielding effort it was enough.
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