Two big sixes from AB de Villiers and then a special over from Ravi Rampaul where he picked up the wickets of David Warner and Ben Rohrer took Royal Challengers Bangalore to a Super Over win against Delhi Daredevils at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday (April 16) night. The win, tougher than many thought it would be against bottom-placed Delhi, took Bangalore to the top of the points table with four wins from six games in the Indian Premier League 2013. (Scorecard)
Earlier, Virender Sehwag and David Warner, the Delhi openers, got the runs on the board, but as is often the case with them, peppered the run-scoring shots with mishits and swings that connected only with air. (Stats)
But Warner, after hitting three fours in a 13-ball 15, and Sehwag, who scored a 23-ball 25 with four fours, were both sent back with the team total on 43; Warner slamming Vinay Kumar back for a sharp caught and bowled, and Sehwag failing to get elevation in a flick off Andrew McDonald, which went straight to Virat Kohli at midwicket. (Watch analysis)
Ravi Rampaul was again the standout bowler for Bangalore in the initial overs, conceding only 13 runs from his three overs, while the score, after the fifth over, was 42. But the Bangalore bowlers' figures improved from there on with Manprit Juneja (17 from 16), Mahela Jayawardene (28 from 31) and Ben Rohrer (14 from 14), playing his first IPL game, failing to get going. Read: It's my first Super Over and hopefully my last, says de Villiers.
Bangalore, who had opted to field, kept thing in control till their travails with the bowling at the death returned to haunt them. Irfan Pathan (19* from eight) was on song, as was Kedar Jadhav (29* from 16), and sixes and fours flowed in the last two overs - Rampaul conceded 15 in the 19th and RP Singh 15 more in the 20th - as Delhi passed the 150-run mark, which seemed well beyond them before the late surge.
Bangalore's chase of the modest target could have gotten off to a terrible start if the umpire, Vineet Kulkarni, hadn't nixed a shout for lbw when Ashish Nehra hit KL Rahul's pad, having pitched in line, headed for the middle stump. But Rahul didn't make use of the reprieve, holing out at midwicket off Nehra for a 12-ball 12. While Chris Gayle, who hit two big sixes while looking quite scratchy on the whole, edged Morne Morkel to Umesh Yadav at third man for a nine-ball 13. Bangalore, after 3.3 overs, were 26 for 2.
But they still had their two other star batsmen - Kohli and AB de Villiers - to fall back on. The two, sprinkling their stand with boundaries and the occasional hit over the ropes, took the generally disciplined Delhi attack apart. Waves of red seemed to rise in response to each big stroke, and there were plenty as the two put together 103 runs for the third wicket, finally broken when de Villiers was run out to a direct hit from Morkel from mid-off for a 32-ball 39.
A great 17th over from Shahbaz Nadeem, where he conceded just one run and had McDonald out caught and bowled for a duck, and the 18th from Morkel, when only six runs were scored and Arun Karthik was run out, however, altered the script. Yadav then had Mohammad caught at the midwicket fence and the result was all but sealed in Delhi's favour when Jayawardene pulled off a super tumbling catch at cover to send Kohli back for a 50-ball 65.
Just three wickets left and 12 to get from the last over - that was the equation when Pathan came in to bowl. Rampaul swung the pendulum back in Bangalore's favour with a first-ball six over cover, but Pathan kept his cool, giving away only five more runs in the over to end the 40 overs with nothing to separate the two sides - Bangalore responding to Delhi's 152 for 5 with 152 for 7.