Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils
Bangalore—It was a run-fest of the highest quality. Virat Kohli, a machine going by his current form, delivered again. His 48-ball 79 powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to 191 for 5, and AB de Villiers and Shane Watson chipped in with 55 and 33. But their efforts were put to shade by Quinton de Kock, who made a bruising 51-ball 108, the first hundred in IPL 2016, to lift Delhi Daredevils to a seven-wicket win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. It was Daredevils’ first victory over Royal Challengers since 2010. While De Kock starred in the lead role, Karun Nair, who hails from Bangalore, played the supporting act in a 134-run third-wicket stand that came off 76 balls. He remained unbeaten on 54 as Daredevils won with five balls to spare.
Zaheer Khan, the Daredevils captain, was clear that Kohli’s prowess at chasing had influenced his decision to bowl first. What he didn’t account for was a Chinnaswamy deck that looked biscuit brown and was ripe for plundering. Kohli went on to show he could be equally dangerous when setting targets. The groundwork was laid during his second-wicket stand of 107 with de Villiers but Daredevils hit back with a tremendous exhibition of late-overs bowling. The returning Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris conceded only 27 off the last four overs.
Daredevils’ chase was dealt an early blow when Shreyas Iyer was dismissed by Shane Watson and David Wiese, whose tag-team effort resulted in a stunning catch at long-on. But the loss had little effect on de Kock as he pierced a packed off-side field for three fours off the offspinner Parvez Rasool in the second over.
De Kock was particularly punishing through the off side, a majority of his runs coming behind square. Once he was set, the other elements of his game surfaced. A nonchalant flick off Harshal Patel in the ninth over soared over deep square leg, and when in the 90s he used the pace to scoop the ball over short fine leg. The result was a wagon wheel with spokes all around the wicket.
De Kock’s sparkling form helped Daredevils ride a trough when Sanju Samson struggled to play his shots, but his dismissal in the sixth over turned their fortunes. Nair and de Kock attacked Yuzvendra Chahal, Patel and Wiese, whose combined tally at one point was 78 off seven overs. Their predictability put immense pressure on Watson to deliver as the equation came down to 56 off six overs.
By then, Nair was settled. Not a shot was played in desperation or anger, and his form took the pressure off a tiring de Kock, who brought up his century off his 48th ball. Once into the home stretch, there was a sense of inevitability to the game. —Agencies