Bangalore Royal Challengers Fail to Make a Mark, Yet Again

By: Dharmendrasinh Rathod

Bangalore Royal Challengers fail to make a mark, yet again : The Royal Challengers lost their fourth match by 10 runs in the IPL against a brilliant all round display of cricketing skills by the Delhi Daredevils.

With the bat, it was Gautam Gambhir who played a dashing knock of 86, while the ball was handled superbly by Glen McGrath as he registered the first four wicket haul of the league.

The toss was won by Rahul Dravid, the captain of the Challengers, and promptly invited the Delhi team to bat first. Dale Styne started the proceedings with a tight first over as if to endorse his captain's decision to bowl first. But Gautam Gambhir quickly responded with three successive fours in the very next over by Zaheer Khan.

Virender Sehwag got desperate to join the party and capitalised the very first opportunity that came his way. The target, once again, was Zaheer whose short pitched delivery was dispatched into the stands over the midwicket. The six was followed by two boundaries and the Daredevils were off to a flying start with the score reading 45 for no loss in four overs.

Sehwag's spree saw a premature end by a direct throw from Ross Taylor shattering the timber. Sehwag had to depart at his personal tally of 24 from 12 balls.

The next to assume crease was Shikhar Dhawan, who continued with his good form. The big hits were the call of the day from Daredevils as Gambhir and Dhavan maintained the pace set by their captain. Dhawan compiled a well made 50 off 33 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes, before falling to an amazing catch by Dravid diving to his right to grab the ball inches above the ground. Gambhir missed his century when he got out on 86. He has struck an unfaultering form, since the beginning of the tournament.

Delhi Daredevils, thus concluded their innings posting a total of 191/5 in 20 overs, which did seem to be a tough ask for Bangalore, struggling to settle down in the league.

The Royal Challengers reply to the challenging target was initiated with a surprise package in Praveen Kumar as an opener. The gamble failed to yield the desired results as he fell to a McGrath delivery in the first over, itself. Kumar was caught by Dhawan, a simple catch as he tried to flick the ball over midwicket.

Ross Taylor was the next man in, who was once again expected to get the Challenger's innings on track. He promised to continue with the good work he has displayed till date in the tournament by posting a flat six over long leg off the bowling of McGrath. But McGrath had scripted a different story, altogether, as he got his man in the very next over when Taylor tried to slogg a ball in the safe pair of hands that Dhawan could boast off. Jaffer came in a hurry to leave soon in the same over of McGrath.

Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis were left with an uphill task. They tried to instill stability by a careful approach without being too adventureous. The tactics would hardly pay off, when one tends to be over cautious in this format of the game. The asking rate climbed swiftly to 10 an over and the alarm rung hard. The risks had to be taken in an inevitable situation. Both Dravid and Kallis struggled hard to get after the bowling, managing, at best to find the fielders on each occassion.

Daniel Vettori created further pressure with an economical spell of bowling which restricted the batsmen from playing big shots. Dravid succumbed to the pressure and got out to McGrath in the sixteenth over off a leading edge to cover. The Royal Challengers needed 52 runs to be scored in the remaining 24 deliveries.

The last over yielded 19 runs and witnessed some splended hitting which only helped to reduce the margin of loss for the Bangalore team. They eventually, ended their endeavour at 181/5 in 20 overs, 10 short of the target.

Shikhar Dhawan picked up the DLF highest sixes award.

A miraculous effort on the part of the Bangalore team is the least required to lift themselves from the bottom of the table as they finished with four losses from their five outings.

The Daredevils have performed well, registering their third win from four matches, till date.

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