After an otherworldly start with the bat, scoring 79 runs in the powerplay, RCB overcame a mini-stutter to ensure that they registered a convincing 63-run win over a listless Delhi side. After having posted 175 in the first innings, a clinical display from the bowlers saw RCB bowl DC out for 112.
Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer, within six overs, realized that he’d made the biggest mistake of his life sending RCB in to bat, as thanks to some fireworks from Finch and Parthiv Patel, the Reds posted an otherworldly total of 79/0 inside the powerplay. However, the high soon turned into a downer for the batting side in no time, as some fine bowling from Keemo Paul, Lamichhane and Ashwin put the brakes on RCB’s scoring. However, just when it looked like Virat Kohli’s side were down and out, the ever-so-reliable AB de Villiers struck a fine fifty to take his side to 175/5 at the end of their innings.
176 seemed like a pretty chaseable target, but the approach of the Delhi batsmen, right from ball one, beggared belief. The openers started off slowly and then further misery was inflicted on the chasing side by Umesh Yadav, who struck in back-to-back deliveries. A bit of urgency was the need of the hour for Delhi but despite Shaw and Iyer then stringing together a decent partnership, boundaries were few and far between. The duo eventually perished post the 10th over, leaving DC with 100 runs to chase off the last 8 overs and instantly, that looked like a mountain too steep to climb. The lower-order batters perished in search of glory as RCB sealed a convincing 63-run victory.
The dismissal of Iyer and Shaw in quick succession turned out to be the last straw for DC. A slow start meant that these two had to bat long to chase the hefty target down, but their untimely dismissal disrupted the entire chase and left the lower-order batters with way too much to do.
Highs and Lows
Honestly speaking, I decided the ‘high’ of the game as early as the sixth over. I mean, who even scores seventy-freakin-nine runs inside the powerplay? This phase provided more entertainment than all the games from last week put together and this is not even an exaggeration. 14 fours and 1 six in 36 balls? TAKE. MY. MONEY.
RCB giveth high; RCB giveth low. The bipolar nature of the Royal Challengers was in full flow today, as after scoring a remarkable 79 in the powerplay, they scored JUST 48 runs in the entirety of the middle overs. More than the dismal, intent-less display in the middle serving as a complete buzzkill, it felt like a betrayal, for a vast majority were convinced of RCB doing something really, really special on the night. Ah, well. Lesson learnt.
Powerplay exploitation: RCB 11/10 and Delhi 4/10
If I were to summarize the RCB powerplay in one phrase, it would be ‘Smack, smack, smack, bang, bang, bang’. Phew! Pardon me as I’m still trying to catch my breath after witnessing the carnage. In what was the single most outrageous batting display in the powerplay in SRL history, Aaron Finch and Parthiv Patel made the stuff of dreams come true as the duo struck a stupendous 79 runs inside the first six overs. The onslaught included a staggering FIFTEEN boundaries and poor KXIP were not even given a breather. HOLY COW is all I can say!
Given they knew the target beforehand, the Capitals did not need to go all berserk like their counterparts, but both Shaw and Dhawan crossed the line with their cautious approach as there was little intent from the openers up-front. Delhi were then punished for their lack of intent by Umesh Yadav, who struck twice in two balls, and within seconds, the target of 176 did look like a very big ask. Post the two quick dismissals, Iyer and Shaw caressed the bowling to take DC to 36/2 at the end of the powerplay.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: RCB 1/10 and Delhi 4/10
The middle overs for RCB was a ‘Expectation vs Reality’ moment. While the powerplay saw them be the invincible, unassailable, god-like team their fans consider them to be, the middle-overs brought out their true colours, which is them being headless, reckless, inconsistent and unreliable. Parthiv perished on the first ball post the restart and in no time, Finch and Kohli departed, too, as RCB were soon reduced to 93/3. A familiar sight then ensued for the rest of the phase as AB de Villiers tried to keep the boat afloat all on his own, as RCB ended the middle-overs on 127/4, having scored just 48 runs in the phase. A full-on RCB’esque display.
Delhi’s approach in the middle overs, if anything, was even more dumbfounding than RCB as despite the required run rate standing tall at 10 at the start of the sixth over, there was little intent shown by both batsmen in the middle. A slow 27-run partnership between Shaw and Iyer ensued - something that took the RR over 11 by the end of the 10th over - but then things went from bad to worse as both men succumbed to RCB’s spin. A brief cameo from Pant was then a shot in the arm, but then he, too, was dismissed as DC finished the 15th over at 101/5, still needing 75 off the final 5.
Death bowling:- Delhi 5/10 and RCB 10/10
Delhi had one job heading into the death overs, and that was to weather the ABD storm. And the Capitals did not do the job so well, allowing Mr.360 to take full toll of some extremely callous bowling. De Villiers brought up a fine fifty in the blink of an eye but perished soon after due to a mix-up with Dube, but the Mumbai-based all-rounder chipped in with a quickfire 14 to propel RCB to 175. Delhi eventually ended up leaking 48 runs at the death.
RCB finished the game off almost as emphatically as they started it. At 101/5, with Stoinis still at the crease, Delhi had an outside chance of winning heading into the death overs, but boy weren’t they blown out of the park. Stoinis perished on the second ball of the 16th over and what followed his wicket was an unbelievable implosion - Delhi lost their next three wickets for just three runs. With the score 112/9, Saini then knocked Lamichhane over to seal victory for the Reds.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Good
The scorecard might suggest that the match was one-sided, but, in reality, it was anything but that. It was a roller coaster ride from ball 1 to 120 and fittingly, RCB, the only team that showed intent in the match, came out on top.
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