SPORT

Royal Challengers routs Otago Volts

STAR OF THE SHOW: Jacques Kallis’s all-round performance helped Royal Challengers Bangalore thump Otago Volts on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: PTI

K.C. Vijaya Kumar

Bangalore: Jacques Kallis was perhaps the most popular man in Bangalore on a nippy Monday night. The South African all-rounder uncorked a champagne performance as he scored an unbeaten 73 and then grabbed three wickets to help Royal Challengers Bangalore defeat Otago Volts by 80 runs in a crucial Group ‘C’ match of the Airtel Champions League at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The victory that came in a must-win match helped Royal Challengers secure the second spot behind Cape Cobras in the group and qualify for the second phase commencing on October 15.

McCullum fails

Otago’s fortunes largely hinged on Brendon McCullum but he failed to get past an ecstatic Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble at mid-on while the opener tried to swat Kallis out of the ground.

Chasing Royal Challengers’ 188 for two in 20 overs, McCullum’s dismissal triggered a procession towards the dug-out as initially the batsmen failed to get past Kallis’s unchanged spell of 4-1-18-3 and later succumbed to the varied fare of Kumble, left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe and seamer Vinay Kumar.

Otago was bowled out for 108 in 17.5 overs and fittingly Kallis caught the last batsman — Neil Wagner — in the deep.

Earlier Royal Challengers relished a solid start as openers Kallis and Robin Uthappa (42, 31b, 5x4, 2x6) shared a 75-run partnership. The duo played their contrasting roles to perfection as Uthappa donned the aggressor’s mantle while Kallis remained sedate.

Uthappa drilled through the off-side and also pulled an errant seam-duo of Dmitri Mascarenhas and Ian Butler.

Uthappa slammed sixes off Mascarenhas and Nathan McCullum while Kallis hit a square-driven four off Mascarenhas. The duo’s partnership which lasted 59 balls ended when Uthappa’s leading edge off Aaron Redmond ballooned to short-cover.

Mixed role

However, Kallis continued his mixed role of sheet-anchor as well as being an enforcer in a 59-run second-wicket partnership off just 38 deliveries with Virat Kohli (32, 19b, 5x4).

An inner-edged four off Warren McSkimming was the lone false-stroke in Kallis’s cultured knock that had its belligerent shade towards the end when he hoisted sixes off Butler and Neil Wagner.

And as the Royal Challengers innings entered its final phase, Ross Taylor (32 n.o., 11b, 2x4, 3x6) whipped out his medley of big hits in an unbeaten 54-run third-wicket partnership off 23 balls along with the man who could not be denied his space under the lights — Kallis.

Uthappa confident

Opener Robin Uthappa emphasised that Royal Challengers was ready for the tough second phase.

“In the Indian Premier League, we were in the same situation. We had to win every game and that brought out the best in us. We are hoping to do the same here,” Uthappa said after the match.

Uthappa said the team emerged stronger after its loss to Cape Cobras in the opening game. “In the first game, J.P. Duminy’s innings changed the match. We were a little hurt by that defeat and we are a stronger team now.

“We have pulled it back now. Kallis also showed that he is a phenomenal player,” the opener said.

Otago skipper Craig Cumming said his team failed to cope with the pressure of chasing a big total.

“Chasing close to 190 was always going to be tough. In the first few overs we lost wickets even while getting some runs. Then we struggled to get the momentum.”

The scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: J. Kallis (not out) 73, R. Uthappa c Cumming b Redmond 42, V. Kohli c N. McMillan b N. Wagner 32, R. Taylor (not out) 32; Extras: (lb-1, w-8) 9; Total: (for two wkts. in 20 overs): 188.

Fall of wickets: 1-75, 2-134.

Otago Volts bowling: Wagner 4-0-27-1, Mascarenhas 4-0-37-0, Butler 3.3-0-42-0, McSkimming 3.3-0-38-0, N. McCullum 2-0-20-0, Redmond 3-0-23-1.

Otago Volts: B. McCullum c Kumble b Kallis 5, A. Redmond c Uthappa b Kallis 11, H. Rutherford c Kumble b Kallis 14, N. Broom (run out) 7, C. Cumming c Uthappa b Akhil 20, N. McCullum lbw b Kumble 8, D. Mascarenhas lbw b van der Merwe 3, I. Butler lbw b Kumble 1, D. de Boorder b Vinay 16, W. McSkimming (not out) 12, N. Wagner c Kallis b Vinay 1; Extras: (b-4, lb-4, w-2) 10. Total (in 17.5 overs): 108.

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-19, 3-32, 4-49, 5-67, 6-71, 7-75, 8-90, 9-106.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Praveen 2-0-13-0, Kallis 4-1-18-3, Vinay 2.5-0-20-2, Kumble 3-0-20-2, van der Merwe 4-1-19-1, Akhil 2-0-10-1.