Text by Suhas Nayse & video by Taus Rizvi – SJFI Members
A dream debut by Devdutt Padikkal, rapid-fire half-century by AB de Villiers coupled with tight bowling spell by Yuzvendra Chahal inspired Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to an important 10-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the third match of the Dream11 Indian Premier League at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Chasing a challenging target of 164, SRH, winners of 2016, skittled out for 153 in 19.4 overs despite a splendid knock by Johnny Bairstow (61: 43 balls, 6×4, 2×6). The SRH side was in complete control till Bairstow was at the centre. Although he was benefited by the butter-fingered RCB fielders, Bairstow kept the pressure on with his big hitting.
Manish Pandey played sensibly and was involved in a fruitful second-wicket partnership with Bairstow after skipper David Warner’s unfortunate run-out. Pandey cracked 34 off 33 balls to keep his team in the hunt.
Bairstow lived a charmed life as he was dropped thrice. The English opener got lives when he was on 40 (Aaron Finch), on 48 (Dale Steyn) and on 60 (Devdutt Padikkal). The keeper-batsman finally departed on 61 when he was castled by Chahal. The leggie cleaned up Vijay Shankar on the very next ball to bring his team back in the game.
Rashid Khan and Abhishek Sharma then collided between the wickets resulting in the run out of later, making SRH task even more difficult.
Navdeep Saini castled Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan in one over to make the matter worse for SRH. Needing 22 runs from the last two overs with just two wickets to spare, SRH crumbled under pressure.
Keeping with IPL’s tradition of throwing some new talent every year, it seems the new Indian star is emerging from the south in the form of Padikkal this season. The youngster, who warmed the bench last year, arrived in a big way. The 20-year-old debutant hammered a strokeful 56 (42 balls, 8×4) to launch his and his team RCB’s campaign on a promising note as they chase maiden IPL title.
Asked to bat first, RCB put up a competitive total of 163 for 5 against SRH. The tall southpaw Padikkal provided a flying start in the company of fellow opener Aaron Finch (29: 27 balls, 1×4, 2×6). From the word go, the RCB openers launched a fierce attack on the opposition as they added 86 in the first ten overs. Padikkal was the more aggressive of the duo. The former India Under-19 star impressed with his clean and clear hits. However, after reaching his maiden fifty, he could not continue his dream run and departed for 56.
Soon after Padikkal’s dismissal, Finch was trapped leg-before by left arm spinner Abhishek Sharma when he looked in great touch.
Skipper Virat Kohli (14, 13 balls) and AB de Villiers (51: 30 balls, 4×4, 2×6) added some quick runs raising hopes of yet another partnership between the two long-standing teammates.
That didn’t happen as Kohli dismissed trying to clear the ropes. AB de Villiers then took over the charge and continued his free flowing innings. Whenever he got a chance, he displayed his trademark shots to accelerate the scoring.
However, he failed to get support from the other end as RCB were restricted to 163 for 5 after getting a flying start early to their innings.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 163 for 5 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 56, AB de Villiers 51, Aaron Finch 29, Virat Kohli 14, Shivam Dube 7; Abhishek Sharma 1-16, Vijay Shankar 1-14, T Natarajan 1-34) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 153 in 19.4 overs (Jonny Bairstow 61, Manish Pandey 34, P Garg 12; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-18, Shivam Dube 2-15, Navdeep Saini 2-25, Dale Steyn 1-33) by 10 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB).
Rajasthan Royals to challenge mighty CSK on Tuesday
After escaping to a five-wicket victory against defending champions Mumbai Indians in the inaugural outing on Saturday, Chennai Super Kings will definitely like to keep up the momentum when the last year’s runners-up face Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.
It will be Rajasthan Royals first match and also the first outing at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the oldest ground in the UAE, this season.
Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis rescued CSK against Mumbai Indians in the previous match before debutant Sam Curran hit a couple of sixes to take his team to a last-over win. CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s surprising move to send Curran ahead of him did the trick.
It is unlikely that CSK will make any major changes to their playing eleven. The team management might be tempted to blood talented Ruturaj Gaikwad given his immense potential.
Rajasthan Royals, the champions in the inaugural edition way back in 2008, didn’t really flourish as they would have liked in the last few years. However, this season they are confident of turning the tides and aiming for a much improved performance. They firmly believe that they have the much needed ammunition to go the distance.
In skipper Steve Smith they have an inspirational leader, who is capable of leading from the front. Quality all-rounders Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer strengthen the side. David Miller is another quality overseas star. Unfortunately Jos Butler will be missing the opening clash as he is undergoing a mandatory quarantine of six days. The wicketkeeper-batsman arrived with his family which forced him to follow different rules. Archer, Miller and Smith are available despite reaching UAE just two days before the start of the IPL.
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