BANGALORE (TIP): After 16 overs of their innings, Royal Challengers Bangalore were 106 for 3, and Virat Kohli was 47 off 43. When Kohli was run out while attempting the second off the last ball of the innings, he had reached 99 off 58, and Royal Challengers had finished on 183. Not many teams recover from such an onslaught.
Delhi Daredevils tried hard to recover, but lost out to a limping Jaydev Unadkat’s five-for and crashed to their 10th loss out of 13 matches. Royal Challengers moved to 16 points from 13 matches, staying in touch with the other three contenders for three open spots in the playoffs. Those four overs, when Kohli and AB de Villiers hit six sixes and seven fours to loot 77 runs, took the game away from the hosts, but until then they had bowled pretty well on a slow surface.
The same couldn’t be said of their fielding and field placements. The fashionable wide slip, a simple drop by Virender Sehwag and a noball by inches all cost them wickets after they had got the better of Chris Gayle. Finally given the first over the innings, Morne Morkel grew a leg and bowled fast, accurate and extracted movement. He had Kohli edging through even before he had scored, but had overstepped by an inch.
Sehwag soon dropped Kohli when he was 14. However, despite those blemishes they kept the lid on until Kohli and de Villiers unleashed towards the end. De Villers began the onslaught, attacking his South Africa team-mate and the best Daredevils bower, Morkel. With 18 runs off the 17th over, including a ramp over fine leg, de Villiers might just have freed Kohli up a bit too. He had been anchoring the innings until then, but he now got stuck into his India team-mate, Umesh Yadav. Twenty-four came off that over, and it only got worse for Daredevils.
Kohli didn’t go crazy with the hitting, but with the strike staying with him, he trusted his trademark shots to punish Yadav some more in the final over of the innings. One of them was a four through wide long-on, and the other a drive through extra cover. He was now 86 with three balls to go. Then came two straight sixes. The run-out of the final ball kept the damage down to 23, but enough had been done. Ravi Rampaul sconed Sehwag twice early in the second innings, and with Sehwag struggling Mahela Jayawardene fell in search of quick runs.
ZUnadkat then took out the softened Sehwag with a slower ball, and Daredvils were 49 for 1 in the sixth over. Around those events, though, Unmukt Chand survived despite a loud edge through to the keeper, and Unadkat injured himself fielding in the deep. With nothing to lose, Daredevils kept going after the total, and stayed in the hunt, but Unadkat once again split the game open when brought back in the 17th over. Daredevils were 129 for 4 then. Soon to be 133 for 6 by the end of that over. It did become a bit interesting with slightly poor bowling over the next two overs, and even poorer umpiring.
In the 19th over, Rampaul was no-balled with half his foot behind the line, and the third umpire didn’t intervene. He got his own back with a dot-ball yorker, but conceded a six off the last ball, leaving Unadkat 18 to defend in the last over. Both Morkel and Irfan Pathan hit him for a four each before Unadkat came back with a yorker to send back Morkel and seal the win.