Monday, April 23, 2012

De Villiers, Apanna excellent performance in Bangalore win

JAIPUR: Rahul Dravid rolls back the years with a delightful 50 in which he outpaced and outscored his younger team-mates. But the 58-run innings couldn’t stop a rare beat by 46 runs in a home game for Rajasthan Royals against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Bangalore posted an impressive 189-3 here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Both sides were equally matched at the halfway mark: Bangalore was 62-2 and Rajasthan 67-1. But the differentiator in the game was the fierce 21-ball 50 that AB de Villiers scored, adding 122 unbeaten with starter Tillakaratne Dilshan, who carried his bat for 76. It was a slow wicket with grip for the spinners, so when young left-arm spinner KP Appanna (4-19) dismissed Rajasthan’s top 4, the contest finished.

Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane have template their partnership in the match. Dravid, the more cautious of the two, looks to protect his wicket while Rahane blazes away. Down the order, they have Owais Shah, Brad Hodge and Kevon Cooper to provide fire power. Rajasthan made one more big start of 56 runs today with Dravid doing the fast-scoring but they could not get from Shah and Hodge what de Villiers give to Bangalore.
The evening didn’t start well for Bangalore. With 2ds to go for the game, they briefly lost the services of Chris Gayle, who felt sick and couldn’t maintain his dinner down. Virat Kohli had to open the innings with Dilshan, a move that didn’t work out after Kohli, having made a run-a-ball 16, miscued a lofted cover force to the lone man at the ropes. Gayle would come in at No. 4, not a place one is familiar to see the big-hitting Jamaican in. He was clearly off-color through his short stay.

Bangalore’s innings could be distinct in two halves: the 1st in which Rajasthan had the upper-hand, thanks to Brad Hogg’s pleasant spin bowling and his display of the wrong ‘un; and the 2nd in which Dilshan and de Villiers took manage and destroyed Rajasthan’s bowling, adding 122 runs for the 4th wicket in just 8.2 overs.

Hogg bowled t3 decent overs before being punish in his last one. In his 1st, he threw up the left-hander’s googly — the china man — and Mayank Agarwal untimely his slog-sweep to be wedged in the deep. In his next over, Hogg bent the big wicket of Gayle; trap him in front with a fast ball that cut in. Hogg’s china man is widely accepted to be one of the best in the business with testimonials from even Muttiah Muralitharan, who’d said that Sri Lankan batsmen struggle to read it.
With Bangalore 67-3 in the 12th over, Bangalore began their turn with Dilshan and de Villiers. It’s rare for a batsman to bat during the 20 overs and not make a hundred as Dilshan did today. But the Bangalore opener was safe the heavy slogging, thanks to de Villiers’ brilliant innings. One of the keys to their partnership was dismantle Rajasthan seamer Siddhartha Trivedi, who’s proven he to be one of the more hard bowlers to hit in the IPL. Trivedi’s off-cutters have served him well in the match. He began today’s game with two tight overs for nine runs. But Dilshan take a 6 and a 4 in his third over that went for 15. In his 4th, de Villiers dotted his slow off-cutters and put two of them away for sixes, taking 21 runs in all.

Player of the match 

AB DE Villiers

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