Jadhav, bowlers deliver first win for RCB

Rishabh Pant’s spirited half-century went in vain in Delhi Daredevil’s chase of 158.

Kedar Jadhav tees off en route to his 37-ball 69.   -  PTI

Rishabh Pant kept Delhi Daredevils’ hopes alive for a long time despite wickets falling around him.   -  PTI

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore delivered a fine bowling performance to emerge from its first home game of the IPL season with a 15-run victory over Delhi Daredevils. Rishabh Pant overcame personal tragedy to score a rapid fifty – an innings of enormous character – but his effort went in vain as RCB triumphed at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Momentum shifted frequently throughout the run chase. Tymal Mills struck the first blow for RCB, removing Aditya Tare. Karun Nair was then bowled by the young Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake with a fine delivery. The top three had been prised out when the dangerous Sam Billings was caught at short third man off Iqbal Abdulla.

Pant, though, took charge. He hit the ball with great force, unleashing four sixes, and kept his head even as wickets fell at the other end. The requirement of 79 off the final 10 overs had just begun to appear comfortable when Sanju Samson fell to Stanlake. Chris Morris was trapped in front by left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla and Carlos Brathwaite, one ball after surviving a leg-before appeal, was bowled by the excellent leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.

With 21 still needed, Shane Watson conceded only two runs off the penultimate over. Pant was then bowled by Pawan Negi off the first ball of the 20th for a 36-ball-57. He trudged back to the dugout, agony etched on his young face.

Jadhav show

Earlier, a 26-ball half-century from Kedar Jadhav was the highlight of the RCB innings. The little Maharashtra batsman's knock, featuring five fours and five remarkable sixes, and his partnership of 66 (38b) for the fourth wicket with Stuart Binny, revived RCB's flagging effort with the bat.

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, the host lost Chris Gayle early. Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers were yet to recover from their injuries and missed out, as Shane Watson continued to lead the side. RCB made four changes in all, bringing in Pawan Negi, Iqbal Abdulla, Billy Stanlake and Vishnu Vinod - signed as a replacement for K.L. Rahul - for S. Arvind, Aniket Choudhary, Travis Head and Sachin Baby.

Watson, who promoted himself up to open, was stumped for 24, teased out of his crease by the excellent Shahbaz Nadeem. The left-arm spinner finished with figures of one for 13; he completed his quota with the 11th over. Watson's exit reduced RCB to 55 for three, a none-too-healthy position to be in. Step forward Jadhav. He stunned Amit Mishra, clubbing 24 runs off the 13th over, featuring two mighty swats over long-on. Brathwaite then got a stern treatment: first an inside-out six and later a stunning tee-shot that sailed over the sight-screen. Jadhav fell for 69 (37b) to a slower delivery from Zaheer Khan, and all of a sudden the run-flow was choked. RCB only managed 15 runs in the last three overs.

Chris Morris, who bowled two of those, finished with figures of three for 21.