by Arun Gopalakrishnan
New Delhi: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowlers won their team a match for the second game in a row after they dismissed the Delhi Daredevils for a paltry total at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, RCB’s bowlers were relentless right through the innings and dismissed the hosts for 95 – the lowest total of Pepsi IPL 2015. The opening pair then knocked off the runs comfortably, taking the team home with 57 balls to spare. The 10-wicket win – as commanding as they come – propelled RCB to fourth in the points table.
Mitchell Starc struck first blood for the visitors in the first over when he dismissed Shreyas Iyer LBW. Varun Aaron conceded 21 runs in his first two overs as DD moved to 34 for one at the end of five overs. David Wiese, introduced into the attack in the sixth over, struck immediately when he had the DD skipper JP Duminy nicking one to the wicket-keeper.
Aaron returned to bowl the seventh over and struck two deadly blows by dismissing Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews off consecutive deliveries. Yuvraj Singh chased a fairly wide delivery, bowled back of a length and at good pace, only for the ball to take the outside edge on the way to the keeper. Mathews was at the receiving end of a snorter; the Sri Lankan was taken by surprise at the pace and direction of the ball directed at him, was in no position to play the ball and ended up fending it to the man at short midwicket.
Opener Mayank Agarwal (27 from 34 balls) added 28 runs in the company of Kedar Jadhav, before his decision to step out against Iqbal Abdulla cost him his wicket; wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik effected the stumping with the batsman way out of the crease.
From 67 for 5 in 12.1 overs, DD collapsed to 95 all out, adding only 28 runs in the next 6.1 overs. Kedar Jadhav, who batted at six, would be top-scorer in the innings with 33. The Maharashtra batsman faced 29 balls and struck four boundaries before he holed out to Starc at midwicket. There were ten balls remaining in the allotted twenty overs when Domnic Joseph was run out by a throw from AB de Villiers.
The RCB bowlers had a field day, and barring the first two overs bowled by Varun Aaron, there was never a let up in the intensity. Starc finished as the most successful of the bowlers returning figures of three for 20, while Aaron and Wiese returned with two wickets each. Harshal Patel and Iqbal Abdulla, who bowled a maiden over too, picked up one wicket apiece.
RCB’s run-chase was a mere formality given the target they were faced with. Though the first over produced only four runs, Chris Gayle cut loose in the second over hitting Domnic Joseph for a six and two boundaries. The left-hander kept his foot on the accelerator right until the field restrictions were eased, by which time RCB had raced to 50 for no loss; Gayle had 43 runs from 27 balls at that stage, while Kohli had contributed six runs from nine balls.
Kohli joined the party when Amit Mishra was introduced into the attack in the seventh over; he hit the leg-spinner for consecutive boundaries – one inside-out shot that raced to the cover boundary, followed by a whip to the midwicket.
Gayle brought up his half-century with a slog-sweep off Imran Tahir in the eighth over and remained unbeaten on 62 (40 balls, 6 fours and 4 sixes) when Kohli struck a straight-drive to take his team past the finish line. The RCB captain remained unbeaten on 35.
Delhi Daredevils 95 all out in 18.2 Overs (Kedar Jadhav 33, Mitchell Starc 3-20) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 99-0 in 10.3 Overs (Chris Gayle 62*, Virat Kohli 35*)
Man of the Match: Varun Aaron, for his spell of 2 for 24