x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Yuvraj proves to be the difference between Bangalore and Delhi

Delhi batsmen – JP Duminy, Kevin Pietersen and Kiran Jadhav – make a valiant effort, but two bouts of three successive sixes by the Bangalore left-hander had enough power to see the visitors through.

Yuvraj Singh, the most expensive signing in IPL, scored his second half-century this season for Bangalore. Pawan Singh / The National
Yuvraj Singh, the most expensive signing in IPL, scored his second half-century this season for Bangalore. Pawan Singh / The National

Bangalore 186-4 (20 ov)

Delhi 170-7 (20 ov)

Toss: Delhi, chose to field

Bangalore: Yuvraj 68, De Villiers 33, Parthiv 29; Shami 1-31

Delhi: Duminy 48, Jadhav , Pietersen 33; Starc 2-26

Man of the match: Yuvraj Singh (Bangalore)

A rain delay during the break was not enough for the Delhi Daredevils as they were left high and dry by a blistering knock by Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Yuvraj Singh on Tuesday night at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The left-hander struck nine sixes and one four during a whirlwind 68 not out from 29 balls to take Bangalore to a 16-run win that meant Delhi are out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) title reckoning now with eight defeats.

Put in to bat, Bangalore were 115 for four with four overs remaining, and it appeared Delhi could hope to contain the home side to less than 150. Yuvraj had other plans, though.

Carving three consecutive sixes off Imran Tahir, Yuvraj reaffirmed that the days of painfully pottering around were behind him for now as he took the side to 186 for four.

Chasing a stiff 187, it became clear that Delhi were not facing the same, haggard side that infamously gave away 65 runs in the last four overs to Rajasthan two nights earlier.

Bangalore had brought Muttiah Muralitharan, Abu Nechim and Sachin Rana in place of Albie Morkel, Ashok Dinda and Varun Aaron, and it made all the difference.

If Delhi needed a good start, Muralitharan gave Bangalore the first breakthrough, trapping Murali Vijay in front. Mitchell Starc followed it up, cleaning up Quinton de Kock.

Mayank Agarwal and Kevin Pietersen soon steadied the innings, but just as the partnership appeared threatening, Nechim, in his debut match for Bangalore, removed Agarwal for 31.

Two overs later, Yuzvendra Chahal outfoxed Pietersen (33), who had shimmied down the track only to find himself beaten by a big-turning leg-break and stumped by Parthiv Patel, the wicketkeeper.

Delhi were gasping at 102 for five after 13 overs. JP Duminy, who gave up on the chance to come up the order, tried to resuscitate the innings, but was bowled for a 30-ball 48 by Starc.

Delhi eventually finished at 170 for seven as Bangalore’s bowlers ensured their fans would go home a happy lot.

Earlier, it had seemed a full match would have been tricky to squeeze in as rain chose to make an appearance ahead of the scheduled toss time, keeping both teams on tenterhooks.

Chris Gayle has had a quiet IPL so far, and though he started off clobbering two sixes, the joy was short-lived.

Rahul Shukla got one to crash into the stumps and Gayle made the long walk back after making 23. Virat Kohli was back to his original No 3 position after a failed experiment as opener in the previous game, but it was another forgettable outing for him, run out for 10.

AB de Villiers, however, continued to flourish. Siddharth Kaul could only watch in frustration as two deliveries reached the boundary, the fielders stationed there unable to react fast enough, and another sailed into the crowd at deep midwicket.

Parthiv Patel departed after adding 49 runs alongside de Villiers, but the crowd did not mind too much, since that brought Yuvraj to the crease.

Kaul came back in the next over to clip de Villiers’ off stump and sent him packing for a 16-ball 33.

Yuvraj’s half-century came in 24 balls, with a six over deep cover, off Shukla. But he was not finished just yet.

Three more sixes left Shukla and Delhi battered and bruised as 27 runs came from the last over. This time around, there was no heartbreak for Yuvraj and Bangalore as the bowlers kept their end of the bargain to take the side to a win.

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sports@thenational.ae

Nisha Shetty is a sub-editor for Wisden India. Follow then on Twitter at @WisdenIndia.

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