The Royal Challengers Bangalore got their 2012 IPL campaign off to a winning start against the Delhi Daredevils, thanks to a fantastic batting display from South African batsman, AB de Villiers.
Bangalore, are on a mission to make sure they win the IPL this season, after being blown out in the finals against the Chennai Super Kings last year.
Delhi Daredevils’ captain, Virender Sehwag, won the toss, and chose to bowl first, since the pitch had a lot of grass covering the surface, which according to Sehwag, would not change the conditions throughout the entire match.
The Bangalore crowd were buzzing as openers, Andrew McDonald and Cheteshwar Pujara made their way out to the middle.
Bangalore, got off to a fast start, scoring 37 runs in the first four overs, before, South African pace bowler, Morne Morkel, dismissed Pujara.
McDonald, after making a good start to his innings, failed to capitalise on converting it into a bigger score, as Morkel, provided the breakthrough once again for the Daredevils.
AB de Villiers, started to work himself into the game, however, with the constant fall of wickets, he could do nothing but watch in absolute disbelief as the Delhi bowling attack started to rip through the middle order batsmen.
Mayank Agarwal and de Villiers, put together a valuable 26 run partnership at just over a run a ball, before Delhi once again got the breakthrough, to further dampen any chance of Bangalore making a comeback.
However, as the wickets fell in regular intervals, de Villiers, took it upon himself to rescue his team and not disappoint the fans, who had been eagerly awaiting this contest.
Vinay Kumar and de Villiers, worked extremely well together in providing Bangalore with a vital 54 run partnership, during which, de Villiers brought a brilliant half century off just 37 balls, with a massive six.
Vinay Kumar had done his job as a lower order batsman, making 18 runs off 16 balls, with just one boundary to his name.
De Villiers meanwhile, had carried Bangalore to a total of 157, which was a very respectable total, considering they had been 85 for the fall of five wickets in the 13th over.
De Villiers, remained unbeaten at the end of the Bangalore innings, on 64 from just 42 deliveries, in which he cracked six boundaries and two massive sixes into the stands.
With his explosive batting display, de Villiers was the obvious choice for the Man of the Match award, and said: “New Zealand tour helped me as i am riding the wave. Gelling well with the youngsters and have told them to keep it simple with regards to running between the wickets.”
New Zealand bowler, Doug Bracewell, claimed three wickets for Delhi, Morne Morkel picked up two, and Shahbaz Nadeem and Glenn Maxwell chipped in with a wicket each.
Chasing a target of 158 to win, Delhi opener, Aaron Finch, started things off in excellent fashion, taking 13 runs from the first five balls of the innings.
However, on the sixth ball, captain Virender Sehwag, who was facing his first delivery, smacked one straight to the fielder, sparking a huge celebration from the Bangalore players and crowd.
Finch and Naman Ojha, put together an excellent 42 run partnership, as Delhi looked to recover from the shocking first-ball duck of their captain.
Ojha dominated the partnership from the beginning, scoring 33 runs, which included four boundaries and one six, out of the 42 by himself, before he was dismissed.
Bangalore, got themselves back into the game with some quick strikes after the departure of Ojha.
The entire Delhi middle order batting lineup failed to produce anything spectacular againt some outstanding bowling from Bangalore.
Yogesh Nagar and Irfan Pathan, gave the Delhi a spark of life, as they posted a 32 run partnership at an fiery run rate of 9.60, before, Nagar perished under the pressure from the Bangalore bowling.
Pathan, ran himself out on 24, soon after Nagar had departed, which effectively ended the match for Delhi, as they now had to rely on their tailenders to get them across the line.
Doug Bracewell, scored 12 runs from nine deliveries as he tried his best to get Delhi as close as possible to their target, but, in the end, they fell short by 20 runs, which cued the celebrations for the Bangalore players.
Veteran Sri Lankan spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan, was the pick of the Bangalore bowlers, as he took three wickets, while Zaheer Khan, Andrew McDonald and Daniel Vettori, all chipped in with a wicket each.
Delhi captain, Virender Sehwag, was hoping to see a better performance from his team in the next game, and said: “We lacked partnerships in the middle overs. There are still 14 games to go and 2 of our best players who would return would boost the team up.”
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Daniel Vettori, credited AB de Villiers for the team victory, saying: “Good all-round performance from the team. Delhi bowled well and AB De Villiers and Vinay kumar’s partnership was crucial. 157 was tough to defend but our bowling set us up in the end.”
With the Royal Challengers Bangalore getting a successful start to their 2012 IPL tournament, they hope to continue their winning streak, when they face the Kolkata Knight Riders on April 10, while Delhi, on the other hand, will look to regroup and aim for victory when playing against the defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings on April 10 as well.