Royal Challengers Bangalore (174 for 6, Kohli 50, Marsh 2-18, Kuldeep 2-32) defeated Delhi Capitals (151 for 9, Pandya 50, Vyshak 3-20, Siraj 2-32) by 23 runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore was under pressure for the majority of this match. Every time they thought they were gaining momentum, such as when Virat Kohli reached fifty off 33 balls or when Glenn Maxwell was smashing the spinners on a spin-friendly pitch, a wicket would fall to halt their progress. A victory like this, in which their crowd was largely silent during the first inning, will do marvels for their campaign because they fought back. And because their starring roles accompanied the gala.
Mohammed Siraj (4-0-23-2) was extraordinary despite conditions that should have rendered him ineffective. Their rookie bowler Vijaykumar Vyshak was the night’s most successful, taking three wickets, including that of IPL legend David Warner. Their fielding was electrifying, with Anuj Rawat’s direct hit run-out setting the tone for the comeback. Manish Pandey (50 off 38) and Axar Patel (21 off 14) were the only Delhi Capitals batsmen who managed to resist.
Towards the close of the game, it was evident that the pitch had become more conducive to batting under lights. This is why, having won the coin, the Capitals elected to bowl in the first place. But their disastrous start to chasing 175 runs – 2 for 3 in three overs and then 30 for 4 with Warner out – prevented them from capitalizing.
Spin > Pace
Slow pitch and spinners targeting the stumps made it difficult for RCB to strike the ball beyond the 30-yard circle. In the powerplay, Axar and Lalit Yadav bowled three overs for eight dots and 16 runs.
When there is no bat speed and no space to move the arms, it is extremely difficult to generate power in your strikes. This is why Faf du Plessis felt impelled to attack the quick bowlers aggressively and lost his wicket to Mitchell Marsh in the fifth over.
Seven boundaries were struck by RCB in the first six overs. Only one of them spun out of control. Even for the remainder, they were frequently required to charge out of their crease in order to maximize their effectiveness.
Kohli on tune
On this pitch, Kohli’s fifty off 33 balls was an outstanding effort, but also par for the course. He was aware that 1) this was not a 200-pitch at-bat, so he could bat at his own pace, and 2) the team would almost undoubtedly benefit if he played the entire inning. And 3) he is a juggernaut in the final four overs, striking as well as Andre Russell or MS Dhoni.
Things were proceeding satisfactorily. He had just taken his second and third strokes of the match. Mustafizur Rahman’s nearly yorker was converted into a boundary by a standstill and bottom-hand drive down the ground. Then he executed another stand-still and bottom-hand strike to a length ball on his hips for six. The wristwork required to launch that shot so far was simply astounding.
Then, however, Lalit Yadav threw a tremendous full toss. It had to be stored. It begged to be stored away. And Kohli went for it; the only error he made was dragging the ball to the leg side, towards the 70-yard portion of the field. He was entangled at the very end of the rope. If he had continued directly to the 60-meter line, he would have scored six.
Maxwell’s tiny jewel
Prior to this game, Maxwell had the greatest strike rate (164) and the best balls-per-boundary ratio (4.6) among batters with at least 500 runs against spin in the IPL. He lived up to his reputation, slamming 20 runs off of eight slower bowls, and his contribution was crucial. RCB slipped from 117 for 2 to 132 for 6. However, they still scored 174 runs because their rotation hitter made a cameo, allowing their unheralded Indian batters to simply play out the overs. Rawat, the impact sub, scored 15 runs off 26 balls despite entering the game in the final five overs, but it did not matter.
They were three for two in the third inning. It took them 23 deliveries to score their first boundary.
The first innings was dominated by the dismissal of fast bowlers. Mustafizur, for instance, allowed one-third of RCB’s total boundaries (7 out of 21). They were the ones who provided relief to batters under duress.
However, the RCB’s new-ball attack decided to alter the situation. Siraj was able to take advantage of even these adverse conditions by slamming the ground with force and speed and generating movement with his wobble seam variation.
The Capitals were suddenly besieged by the very form of bowling they believed they had mastered in the park. Yash Dhull undoubtedly believed this when he attempted to hit Siraj on the up and over the top, but he swung his bat too far inside the line of the ball and was consequently leg before wicket. This wasn’t so much a dismissal as it was a demonstration of the disparity between bowler and batsman.
On his IPL début, Vyshak had a fantastic game. RCB’s batters informed their bowlers that balls that dug into the wicket were problematic, and he did so all night.
Take his initial out. A slower projectile was struck against the surface. This length induces an instinctive draw. You understand that you must delay their strikes on this slow pitch. However, this extent trumps everything. Warner entered the draw prematurely. The bat’s toe extremity. Captured at midfield.
That was the least they had going against them. Prithvi Shaw, the Capitals’ impact sub, who did not field at all, began by resisting a two that was on, then was run out after displaying no urgency to reach the crease. Rawat displayed a moment of brilliance at short extra cover by diving to his right, scooping up the ball with one hand, and executing a throw with only one stump in view. But Shaw did not account for the possibility that his shot could be blocked. When it was obvious he was in trouble, he did not even attempt to dive despite his laziness. His IPL is reflected as 12, 7, 0, 15, 0.
This dismissal set the tone for the Capitals’ fifth loss in five games this season.
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