The players sported their green kit and played on a greener pitch on Sunday, and yet Royal Challengers Bangalore couldn’t get the rub of the green as it slumped to its sixth and a potentially Indian Premier League campaign-ending loss — by four wickets — to Delhi Capitals at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
After the batsman struggled against top-class bowling from Kagiso Rabada to register a below-par score of 149 for 8 in their 20 overs, Royal Challengers once again failed to impress with its bowling and fielding.
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Shreyas Iyer, dropped on 4 by Parthiv Patel in the first over, scored 67 runs (50b, 8X4, 2X6) to anchor the chase and help the team register a four-wicket win over the host. By the time he was out, in the 18th over, Delhi needed only five runs to win. Two more wickets fell, but Royal Challengers couldn’t stop the opposition from completing the chase with seven balls to spare.
Prithvi Shaw did the early damage by denting the confidence of Tim Southee with five boundaries (fifth off a leg-bye) in his second over after the bowler had taken the early wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the opening over of the innings.
Put in to put, Royal Challengers started slowly, reaching the 50-run mark only in the ninth over, after Rabada picked the wicket of AB de Villiers in his first over. De Villiers, who didn’t look in the best of touch right from the start, misjudged the pace while attempting a straight drive and skied the ball as Colin Ingram completed a tough catch to send his compatriot back.
Marcus Stoinis threatened, sending Sandeep Lamicchane to a long six to long-on that had Virat Kohli — the Royal Challengers captain — smiling ear to ear, but fell going for another big hit, giving an easy catch to Rahul Tewatia off Axar Patel’s bowling.
While Kohli (41, 33b, 1X4, 2X6) was uncharacteristically chugging along at run a ball, Moeen Ali (32, 18b, 1X4, 3X6), the new batsman in, showed his intent to accelerate. He stepped down the ground for a mighty six off Axar. He stood up and in the front to swing his bat for another maximum; a sweetly-timed late cut for a boundary in the next over specifically impressed the skipper, who showed his appreciation with a pat on the back. After despatching Sandeep Lamichhane — the leg-spinner — for a six , he stepped out again, but missed reading the googly as Rishabh Pant completed a straightforward stumping.
Despite opening the batting with Parthiv Patel, Kohli had faced just 29 balls until the 17th over and accumulated 28 runs. He decided to switch gear in the 17th over, first slogging Sandeep for a six over mid-wicket and following it up with a flatter six over square leg. But the joy was short-lived for Royal Challengers fans as speedster Rabada got Kohli to sky a catch to his counterpart Shreyas at long-on soon after. Rabada picked up two more wickets in the over as the lower-order collapsed. Mohammed Siraj’s dismissal was particularly comical: Trying to scoop a yorker over the wicket-keeper, the lower-order batsman completely missed connecting it as the ball crashed on to his left leg for a certain lbw wicket which he unsuccessfully reviewed.
Rabada finished with figures of four for 21, and was adjudged the Man of the Match.
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