Brutal hitting from Kohli and de Villiers, followed by some cool-headed finishing from young Sarfaraz Khan, took Royal Challengers to an intimidating total of 227/4 at their home ground. Sunrisers began on target thanks to Warner and Dhawan, but a constant loss of wickets, courtesy tight spin and tight Shane Watson, led their chase astray. In the end, SRH were no match for RCB at home, and lost by 45 runs.
Sunrisers went into the game with a modest batting line-up and an overcompensating bowling attack. But the bowlers were unable to contain the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers at their “home” turf. And then the inherent weakness in SRH’s batting starred in their derailed chase. They were never really in the game after Warner fell and set off a domino collapse of wickets at regular intervals.
Ashish Reddy stood as a spark of spirit that usually lights up a dying cause and managed to tug the game back from the shadows for a short while. But in the end, Shane Watson’s tight bowling — along with the RCB spin-twins Pervez Rasool’s and Yuzvendra Chahal’s canny and clever drift — made sure Sunrisers had no real chance to chase down a mammoth 228 in 20 overs.
AB de Villiers is Man of the Match: “I absolutely love playing here [in Bengaluru]. It was a nice and busy innings with Virat. I have been scratchy, even in the nets. The youngsters are feeding off of Watson’s and Milne’s experience.”
RCB captain Virat Kohli credits Pervez Rasool (“stand-out bowler”) and ABD (“He hits balls like only he can. He took some pressure off me.”).
SRH captain Dave Warner says Ashish Nehra has been ruled out for two games at least with an injury to his groin. He says losing wickets in clumps cost the Hyderabad side fatally.
And final over comes and goes. And the two teams emerge more horribly unmatched rather than foes.
SRH: 173/6 after 19 overs (require 73 runs from 6 balls and 4 wickets in hand)
Chris Gayle gets into the act now. A big man to be so completely inconspicuous for most of this match. He dives to save a boundary, andnearly causes a quake.
This time Harshal tries to return the favour to Milne, who dropped a catch on the boundary of his last over. He does Milne one better, though. He taps in into the boundary for a six.
SRH: 152/6 after 17 overs (require 76 runs from 18 balls and 4 wickets in hand)
Close call. Karn slogged Harshal Patel to deep-midwicket. Milne caught the ball completely, but had to throw the ball back into the field before he tipped over the boundary line with it. SRH are truly out of it now.
SRH: 147/6 after 16 overs (require 81 runs from 24 balls and 4 wickets in hand)
And Watson strikes to break up the blossoming partnership by snagging the man with the strong arm, Ashish Reddy (32 off 18 balls).
SRH: 139/5 after 15 overs (require 89 runs from 30 balls and 5 wickets in hand)
Reddy is playing some sublimely-timed shots. And whoa! Kohli just floated mid-air like a ninja at the boundary, though he couldn’t latch on to Reddy’s flat six hoicked from outside off.
SRH: 125/5 after 14 overs (require 103 runs from 36 balls and 5 wickets in hand)
Ashish Reddy latches on to slight widening of the length. Chahal’s flight gives a lot of time to the batsman, and even a slight error in line makes it easy to pack a punch.
SRH: 113/5 after 13 overs (require 115 runs from 42 balls and 5 wickets in hand)
The required run-rate is really ratcheting now, at 16 runs an over. Rasool and Chahal are really doing it for RCB with the ball. Keeping it tight with the lines and lengths, and forcing mis-hits and mis-reads.
SRH: 106/5 after 12 overs (require 122 runs from 48 balls and 5 wickets in hand)
Chahal grabs his second wicket, sends back the dangerous Deepak Hooda cheaply. He has really dropped his length now. And it seems to be working. The one full ball he bowled got smacked by Eoin Morgan for a flat six.
SRH: 99/4 after 11 overs (require 129 runs from 54 balls and 6 wickets in hand)
Milne is really working up a bit of pace here. A ripper rushes on to the top-edge of Henriques’ bat and Rasool snaps it up at midwicket.
SRH: 92/3 after 10 overs (require 136 runs from 60 balls and 7 wickets in hand)
Chahal is getting aggressive here for all the breezy drift in his deliveries. Snaps up Naman Ojha. He’s mixing it up with some googlies here and there too.
And Dave Warner skies one from his former teammate to deep-midwicket. Big Watto drills that one in and it gets big enough on Warner to cause doubt over the no-ball. But he’s got to go.
Ooh. Caustic tweet, that. Old wounds die hard, much?
Yuzvendra Chahal gives it a lot of air. But Warner likes breathing fire. A 19-run over there — two sixes and a four. And RCB really needs this Time-Out now.
SRH: 64/1 after 7 overs
A relatively quiet last couple of overs, the previous one thanks to some clever bowling from Rasool, and now that the powerplay hath ended.
And the mandatory powerplay comes to an end, much to RCB’s relief and SRH’s disappointment. They are going great guns here, and the total is looking more gettable.
SRH: 49/1 after 5 overs
Warner sets Harshal’s hair on end with a six and a four. Not that his hair needed any more styling. Is that a ponytail, a bun or a mole on the back of his head?
SRH: 38/1 after 4 overs
Dhawan gets cleaned up around his legs by Pervez Rasool (unfortunately, some pundits in the commentary erupt with cries of “Rasool, paisa wasool!”) on the first ball. Beautifully disguised delivery.
SRH: 35/0 after 3 overs
The Chinnaswamy is looking like Leaky Cauldron as length balls are clearing in-fields and going over the ropes easily.
SRH: 22/0 after 2 overs
Misfielding at the boundary, at point, can’t help you defend even 227 on this leaky wicket. ABD slides all over a boundary, Kohli partially stops that ball.
SRH: 12/0 after 1 over
A wayward Adam Milne begins with 5 wides, and spends the next five deliveries trying to york the batsmen out as if for vengeance.
Can Warner & co. scale the mammoth score and open their account this season? RCB’s touted batsmen won that contest against SRH’s touted bowlers. Question is: is the wicket good enough for an awesome chase or will it be a regular collapse in the face of a scary total?
Great presence of mind, an uncluttured one, from Sarfaraz Khan. Superb display of controlled aggression to give Bangalore last-over runs that could prove crucial in the final tally.
RCB: 214/4 after 19 overs
Humongous over for RCB, this one from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as he toes the horribly feeble line between a singeing yorker and a juicy full-toss, and gets bludgeouned by young turk Sarfaraz Khan.
RCB: 186/4 after 18 overs
Brilliant over from Mustafizur. Pulls it way back here. RCB was eyeing something in excess of 200. Now, that will take some doing.
RCB: 183/2 after 17 overs
Shane Watson showing how freeing it is to not have national pressure on your head. Launching after retirement. Gets a hat-trick of sixers as Karn skids onto the bat. This may well be easy to chase, looking at the wicket.
RCB: 164/2 after 16 overs (de Villiers 82 off 40, Watson 1 off 1)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar finally does what he’s known for. Cleans up Kohli’s woodwork on the final delivery after 5 yorkers went a-begging.
RCB: 156/1 after 15 overs
RCB: 144/1 after 14 overs
Kohli be like: no regrets, no mercy. Henriques be like: Why is there an ‘i’ in my name (that’s how dazed he is)? Drags an off-stumper over long-on for six. Then skips down and does his famous World-Cup-fame squirt through point.
RCB: 126/1 after 13 overs
Virat Kohli seems to be under no pressure. Breezes to his fifty with a huge hit over long-on. Karn is not having fun here, unless he’s a masochist. Meanwhile, RCB is looking good to breach 200 here.
RCB: 111/1 after 12 overs
Kohli playing smart cricket. Using his feet to throw Henriques off his length, and being rewarded with two gimmes to end the over on two good notes.
RCB: 99/1 after 11
De Villiers cares little which Ashish bowls to him, though. Keeps calm and smashes cricket balls.
One Ashish takes over for the other. Reddy walks up to finish the over by bowling what can only be called slow-right-arm Chris-Harrises.
Not good signs for SRH. Nehra, the Indian captain’s go-to man, is off the field. Seemed to be cramping up.
Karn getting utterly disrespected here. De Villiers lofts him, cuts him, hoicks him. Stopping just short of actually murdering him. 15 runs in that over.
RCB: 73/1 after 9 overs
Kohli mixing it up to match Henriques’ variations. Skipping down the track for sixes, nudging rabbit runs, building his innings nicely here. Kohli’s biceps are too buff, or he could pass off for a ballerina, with his dancing shoes.
RCB: 61/1 after 8 overs
Karn Sharma bowls a good-ish line, length and drift. But Kohli is able to step out and get under one; was just a four at long-on, though.
RCB: 52/1 after 7 overs
Tight over from Moises Henriques. Did you ever wonder if his name is just Moses spelt in an Australian accent?
RCB: 49/1 after 6 overs
Mustafizur bowling smart here. Yorker, bouncer, cutter. Check.
RCB: 43/1 after 5 overs
De Villiers is getting stuck into the bowling here. Bhuvi didn’t have the pace to trouble him; neither did his slower ones. Loots 15 runs this over.
RCB: 27/1 after 4 overs
De Villers really dug into Nehra this over. Didn’t know what length or line to bowl. Full on the pads went boundary-hunting. Full and straight went sailing over the straight boundary. Short and wide went boundary-hunting.
RCB: 12/1 after 3 overs (V Kohli: 8 off 10; AB de Villiers 2 off 4)
Mustafizur Rahman bowls a great first over. The Bangladeshi speedster is also on IPL debut BTW.
RCB: 8/1 after 2 overs
RCB: 5/0 after 1 over
And Nehra begins as he does. Right on the money. Except the very last ball, when he kind of sprayed it down leg side and Kohli swatted it to fine leg like a blind man.
Nehra gave Gayle a close call first ball, which angled into the southpaw before swinging, cutting away from him and rapping him on the back-pad just outside off.
20:00: Gayle and Kohli stride out to the middle like Batman and Robin. Only both are Batmen. Kohli had a great T20 World Cup.
19:30: Warner gets it right at the toss and chooses to chase. Guess he feels the Bangalore wicket will hold throughout. And what’s more, Kohli says would’ve liked to bowl first as well.
And Shane Watson makes his IPL debut for Royal Challengers. Will he get going with the bat? Watto, Jeeves?-
Here’s the RCB line-up:
CH Gayle, V Kohli*, AB de Villiers, SR Watson, SN Khan, KM Jadhav†, STR Binny, Parvez Rasool, HV Patel, AF Milne, YS Chahal
And here’s how the SRH look this evening:
DA Warner*, S Dhawan, MC Henriques, A Ashish Reddy, NV Ojha†, DJ Hooda, EJG Morgan, KV Sharma, A Nehra, B Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman
Royal Challengers Bangalore would be hoping for a positive start to their campaign in the ninth season of the Indian Premier League against Sunrisers Hyderabad, in Bengaluru this evening.
RCB is led by the Indian Test captain Virat Kohli. The team is packed with all-rounders with fiery batting power and good bowlers.
Despite having a good mix of players, SRH has not lived up to expectations. The team’s mentor is former Indian batsman V.V.S. Laxman. The team is led by the Australian opener David Warner.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Kane Richardson, Samuel Badree, Travis Head, Praveen Dubey, Vikramjeet Malik, Iqbal Abdulla, Sachin Baby, Akshay Karnewar, Vikas Tokas, K.L. Rahul, Parvez Rasool, Abu Nechim, Harshal Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Ahmed, S. Arvind, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal, A.B. de Villiers, David Wiese, Adam Milne and Chris Gayle.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ricky Bhui, Trent Boult, Moises Henriques, Abhimanyu Mithun, Siddarth Kaul, Mustafizur Rahman, Naman Ojha, Karn Sharma, Tirumalsetti Suman, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Ashish Reddy, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Eoin Morgan, Vijay Shankar, Barinder Sran, Aditya Tare, Kane Williamson.
20:07: And Gayle gets his stumps blown away by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1 run, 4 balls)RCB: 88/1 at halfway markThought this was the Kohli show? De Villiers is scooping Ashish Reddy up like dibbly-dobblies were a new flavour of ice-cream. Hooda almost got a hand to one.RCB: 227/4 after 20 oversSRH: 56/1 after 6 oversSRH: 164/6 after 18 overs (require 64 runs from 12 balls and 4 wickets in hand)SRH: 86/2 after 9 oversSRH: 83/1 after 8 overs