If there’s one IPL side that has a formidable top 4 batting order, it ought to be Royal Challengers Bangalore – with Kohli and Gayle opening the batting, followed by Villiers and then Watson. The youngster Sarfraz Khan also finds a place in the side and with his explosive batting; RCB is undoubtedly a team that relies heavily on it’s batting. The bowling however looks weak with RCB awaiting Starc’s availability and hence if there was one area of vulnerability against Delhi Daredevils, it was ought to be their bowling.

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils
Date 17 Apr 2016
Venue M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
191/5 (20)   192/3 (19.1)
Daredevils won by 7 wickets

Suggested read: Kings XI vs Rising Pune Supergiants: Match Highlights

Delhi Daredevils on the other hand found themselves confident ahead of their last match victory over Kings XI Punjab. Captained by India’s fine left arm pacer, Zaheer Khan (now retired) and coached by Dravid, Delhi Daredevils draws inspiration from Rajasthan Royals (currently undergoing it’s 2 year ban), Daredevils too rely on domestic talent along with a fine mix of foreign talent in De Kock, Duminy, Morris and the West Indian who won the world cup for his side, Brathwaite.

Daredevils won the toss and elected to bowl first against a very strong Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batting line-up. The Daredevils got off to a fine start with Zaheer Khan getting the hard-hitting West Indian giant, Chris Gayle in the very first over. A fine outswinger (Khan’s 3rd in the over), saw Gayle edging it to the first slip with Duminy completing a wonderful diving catch at slip.

Daredevils won the toss and elected to bowl first

What followed next was an exemplary batting performance from India’s young gun, Virat Kohli along with Ab De villiers’ quick-fire 55, Bangalore were going at close to 10 runs per over.

Virat Kohli and Ab De Villier’s quick fire 55

After Villier’s dismissal, Kohli took majority of the strike and Watson played an anchor’s role, supporting Kohli to play his sensible game of sticking to the basics during the crucial middle overs i.e. following up boundaries with quick singles and doubles – truly intelligent play.

Kohli + Watson played a sensible game with quick singles and doubles

In the attempt to put acceleration on the run rate, Kohli gave away his wicket for the team and got out for a well made 79, guiding Bangalore to a solid total of 191.

RCB ended with 191/5 (20)

In reply to Bangalore’s score, Daredevils needed a strong opening partnership which wasn’t to be – courtesy of a blinder from Watson-Wiesse duo at the boundary. Watson realized that he may not be able to complete the catch running into the boundary and hence threw the ball back (Willie was behind him), Willie pulled a dive and completed a catch which can fairly be assessed as perfect example of team-working (C. Wiese and Watson B. Arvind, sounds fair?)

C. Wiese and Watson B. Arvind didn’t let Delhi get a strong opening

In spite of an early wicket, De Kock looked unstoppable. Daredevils were 33-1 after 3 overs and in his usual explosive style, the South African young gun De Kock was making most of the apt batting conditions. The batsman at the other end was Sanju Samson, someone who has played many a crucial knocks in the IPL for his previous team Rajasthan Royals but today wasn’t to be his day as he departed cheaply.

De Kock looked unstoppable

Next in came Karun Nair, someone whose been consistently performing in the domestic circuit, this truly was an opportunity for him to grab with both his hands and he DID.

It’s not often that you see a team chase a score in excess of 190 with the sheer effortlessness that Delhi Daredevils did; courtesy of De Kock and Nair. The latter playing the perfect supporting role; hitting the big shots when De Kock looked tired to clear the boundary.

De Kock and Nair made chasing 190 look almost effortless

Kock however maintained a steady pace all throughout his innings and made a match-winning 108(51 balls), losing his wicket to a cheeky slow ball from Watson but by then, he had guided his team to the finishing line and a boundary from Duminy to get off the mark meant that Daredevils needed just 1 run off the last over; which they got on the very first delivery of the over and hence came in the 2nd upset of the tournament on the same day, after Kings XI beat Pune earlier in the day.

A special mention must go out to Nair, someone whose clearly came good on the big stage – he seems to possess a mature head on his shoulders and anchoring a run chase in excess of 190 takes something special and he along with Kock provided a truly special performance today.

Daredevils won by 7 wickets

It’s fitting to say; it’s been a day of upsets at the IPL with table leaders Pune and Bangalore both losing their matches.

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