Chahal keeps the Delhi batsmen on a tight leash; Duminy-Taylor partnership to no avail

It rained sixes, the white ball shooting through the Sharjah night sky repeatedly on Thursday as Royal Challengers Bangalore jetted to victory with more than three overs to spare.

Putting the hapless Delhi Daredevils attack to the sword were the swashbuckling Yuvraj Singh (52, 29b, 3x4, 5x6) and Virat Kohli (49, 38b, 2x4, 3x6).

The seamers and spinners were treated with scant respect. Such was the blitzkrieg by the batting buccaneers that Yuvraj’s strike-rate soared to 179.31 with Kohli’s not too far below at 128.94.

With this duo in the middle, RCB could only win and it did so by a handsome eight-wicket margin too.

Parthiv Patel’s useful knock of 37, that paved the way for these two gentlemen, was partly overshadowed.

Yuvraj at his best

Keen to redeem himself perhaps, Yuvraj was at his cavalier best, first hoisting Rahul Sharma for a six and James Neesham in another boundary clearing blow, which fell short with the spider-cam’s cable coming in the way of the ball’s assured flight over the fence.

His more adventurous captain waded into the bowling, helped along by some butter-fingered fielding, first by Neesham at short fine-leg and Mayank Agarwal deep in the covers spilling fairly straight-forward catches.

Earlier, from the ruins of 35 for four, J-P. Duminy (67 n.o. off 48 balls) and Ross Taylor (43 n.o.) showed some daredevilry to reconstruct Delhi’s innings. In a regenerative rearguard act, the duo was there till the end, its 110-run stand for the fifth wicket undoing some of the earlier damage.

Bouncy track

Confident that his squad had the wherewithal to pursue a target, Kohli invited Delhi Daredevils to bat.

If the hard bouncy track had Murali Vijay patting Starc for a six, it felled Mayank Agarwal, whose ambitious drive ballooned to Kohli at square-leg.

Delhi skipper Dinesh Karthik became prey next, as he feathered a catch to wicketkeeper Parthiv.

Parthiv would have his hands full literally, gratefully accepting another edge from Manoj Tiwary off Varun Aaron’s opening delivery.

As a team, RCB was on fire, more so for the first five overs, its fielding complementing the attack ably.

Meanwhile Vijay, who had sized up the speedsters his mates were perishing to, was foxed by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal.

The 23-year-old spinner from Haryana, with figures of one for 18 in his four overs, was declared the man-of-the-match.

Doughty customer

Duminy weathered a hit on his helmet from Aaron but held his ground.

The slightly built South African, who reached 1000 runs in the IPL, proved a doughty customer, working his way around well.

With Delhi’s 100 coming up only in the home stretch, the urgency to step up the pace became acute.

Duminy duly obliged, welcoming Yuvraj with a six and by giving Ashoke Dinda the long handle.

Dinda discharged his duties well though, given the hapless task the slog overs can be for a bowler.

Scoreboard:

Delhi Daredevils: M. Agarwal c Kohli b Starc 6 (10b), M. Vijay b Chahal 18 (20b, 1x4, 1x6), D. Karthik c Parthiv b A. Morkel 0 (1b), M. Tiwary c Parthiv b Aaron 1 (3b), J-P Duminy (not out) 67 (48b, 4x4, 3x6), R. Taylor (not out) 43 (39b, 4x4); Extras (w-9, nb-1): 10; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 145.

Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Mayank), 2-16 (Karthik), 3-17 (Tiwary), 4-35 (Vijay).

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Starc 4-0-33-1, A. Morkel 3-0-18-1, Aaron 3-1-9-1, Chahal 4-0-18-1, Dinda 4-0-51-0, Yuvraj 2-0-16-0.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv b Rahul 37 (28b, 5x4, 1x6), N. Maddinson c Karthik b Shami 4 (6b, 1x4), V. Kohli (not out) 49 (38b, 2x4, 3x6), Yuvraj (not out) 52 (29b, 3x4, 5x6); Extras (w-3, nb-1): 4; Total (for two wkts. in 16.4 overs): 146.

Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Maddinson), 2-62 (Parthiv).

Delhi Daredevils bowling: Duminy 2-0-10-0, Shami 4-0-30-1, Parnell 3-0-19-0, Nadeem 2.4-0-32-0, Rahul 3-0-33-1, Neesham 2-0-22-0.

Man-of-the-match: Chahal.