Vettori praises courageous Chahal in run-fest

Had it not been for a courageous performance with the ball by the visiting leggie Yuzvendra Chahal though, the Lions could well have overhauled the stiff target of 214.

Bowling in the powerplay overs, Yuzvendra Chahal picked up crucial wickets of Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina and Brendon McCullum.   -  PTI

Bowlers are often the unsung heroes in limited overs cricket, especially in the Twenty20 format. No wonder then that in a high-scoring affair that saw Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions amass 400-plus runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium on Tuesday night, the Gayles and the Kohlis and the McCullums hogged all the limelight. Had it not been for a courageous performance with the ball by the visiting leggie Yuzvendra Chahal though, the Lions could well have overhauled the stiff target of 214.

Chahal took another stride in making a case for a permanent slot in India's limited overs side with a crucial three-wicket haul that ensured Royal Challengers goes into a four-day break after breaking a losing spree.

In the absence of leggie Samuel Badree, who usually bowls with the new ball, Chahal was asked to bowl in the Powerplay overs. And the bowler responded by seeing the back of the dangerous Dwayne Smith and the reliable Suresh Raina in each of its first two overs. Just when McCullum was on the verge of going berserk, Chahal spoilt the Kiwi's and the home team's party by forcing him into a mistake in his last over. His figures of three for 31 was one of the highlights of the match.

Royal Challengers head coach Daniel Vettori couldn't help but heap praise on the leggie, who made his international debut last year. “I have been lucky enough to have worked with Chahal for the past four years and also played against him when he was in Mumbai (Indians),” said Vettori, a top-notch left-arm spinner.

“The way he bowled in the Champions League final (in 2013) was the reason why we wanted to get him into RCB. He is competitive coupled with a lot of skills. I think those two qualities make a formidable combination for a spin bowler and he is positive and confident of what he is doing. If you can succeed in a stadium like Chinnaswamy then it means you are special and we saw that again today with his performance.”

No end to injury woes

While Chahal and Chris Gayle offered a lot of reason to smile, there was little to cheer about the availability of big players. AB de Villiers, who missed the first two games, and Samuel Badree, who starred with a hat-trick in his maiden outing of the season last week, join Tymal Mills in the list of injured players.

Vettori hoped that the four-day break will help all the RCB players to be available for its next game on Sunday, against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens. “We are fortunate that we don’t play till the 23rd and we have some recovery time. We are hopeful that AB, Tymal and Badree are fit for that,” Vettori said. “We do have an extended time before the next game and we are reasonably confident that they will be fit for the game. But it was good that Chris and Travis (Head) stood up today, giving us more selection dilemma.”

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