Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Singh walloped five sixes during his unbeaten knock of 52
India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh produced a flashback to his younger days as he hammered a sparkling half-century to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore to an eight-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils in Sharjah.
Singh was well supported by Virat Kohli, who was lucky to finish on 49 not out as he was dropped twice in the 13th over.
However, South Africa all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy deserves some credit as well as he scored a valiant half-century for the Daredevils.
Kohli would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first as the Daredevils lost their top four batsmen for just 35 runs.
However, despite the flurry of wickets early on in their innings, the Daredevils managed to make a remarkable comeback thanks to Duminy and New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor.
Duminy and Taylor amassed an unbeaten 110-run partnership, during which Duminy brought up his half-century, as the Daredevils went on to score 145/4 off their 20 overs.
Duminy finished on 67 off 48 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes, while Taylor remained undefeated on 43 off 39 deliveries, which included four boundaries.
Mitchell Starc, Albie Morkel, Varun Aaron and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up one wicket apiece.
Chasing 146 to win, the Royal Challengers got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Nic Maddinson was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for only four runs.
Parthiv Patel and Kohli made up for the early loss of Maddinson with a 56-run partnership before Patel was clean bowled by Rahul Sharma for 37.
From that point on it was all Bangalore as Kohli and Singh put together a match-winning 84-run partnership, during which Singh registered his half-century, to lead the Royal Challengers to a comfortable eight-wicket win.
Singh finished on 52 off 29 balls, which included three boundaries and five sixes, while Kohli remained unbeaten on 49 off 38 deliveries, which included two boundaries and three sixes.
Shami and Sharma snapped up one wicket each.
Daredevils stand-in captain Dinesh Karthik blamed his batsmen for the loss, and said: “Didn’t bat well enough though Taylor and Duminy had a great partnership. They batted well and kept playing their shots. It looks like that when the opponent is hammering you. It’s the first game of the season and we’re getting used to who performs which role and it’s important for us to learn and come back in the next game. Duminy absorbed the pressure brilliantly and hit some lusty blows at the end.”
Kohli was delighted with his team’s performance, and said: “That’s what I was telling Yuvi in the middle, if those were mis-hits they wouldn’t have gone to hand. It was a 170-plus track and to hold them down to 145 was big. Chahal did extremely well, Varun as well and Mitch too. He’s [Singh] won us two world cups, he’s a proven match-winner and it’s important to back a player like that.”
In a rather surprising move, Chahal was named Man of the Match, and he said: “Its my second match in the IPL, I played one for Mumbai. I got confidence seeing the first ball turn. It is great to have the support of captain Kohli. Choosing me as the spinner over a player like Murali in the squad.”