Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Fans at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore were treated to a flashback of Yuvraj Singh’s prime days as a cricketer as the Indian all-rounder launched a blitzkreig against the Delhi Daredevils to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore ease to a 16-run victory.
The match was initially delayed by rain, but it soon stopped and it was revealed that no overs would be lost.
Delhi captain Kevin Pietersen would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first as Bangalore opener Chris Gayle was clean bowled by Laxmi Shukla for 22.
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli’s poor form with the bat continued as he was run out by Shukla for 10 runs.
Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel managed to make 29 runs before he was caught by Dinesh Karthik at backward point off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers scored 33 runs before he was clean bowled by Siddarth Kaul.
Singh and Sachin Rana amassed an unbeaten 79-run partnership, during which Singh brought up his half-century, to lead Bangalore to 186/4 off their 20 overs.
Singh ended up scoring 68 off just 29 balls, which included one boundary and an incredible nine sixes, while Rana remained undefeated on 15 off 14 deliveries, which included one boundary.
Shami, Kaul and Shukla picked up one wicket apiece.
Chasing 187 to win, Delhi got off to an awful start as opening batsman Murali Vijay was given out lbw off the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan for one run.
Quinton de Kock only made six runs before he was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc.
Pietersen and Mayank Agarwal steadied the innings with a 63-run partnership before Agarwal was caught by Rana at long-on off the bowling of Abu Nechim for 31.
Pietersen went on to make 33 runs before he was stumped by Patel off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Karthik only scored one run before he was caught by Chahal at deep midwicket off the bowling of Muralitharan.
South Africa all-rounder Jean Paul (JP) Duminy smashed a quickfire 48, which came off 30 balls and included three boundaries and three sixes, before he was cleaned up by Starc.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Kedar Jadhav blitzed his way to 37 before he was run out by Patel.
Delhi eventually finished on 170/7 off their 20 overs, leaving them 16 runs short of their target.
Muralitharan and Starc took two wickets apiece, while Nechim and Chahal claimed one wicket each.
Pietersen was disappointed with his team’s performance, and said: “I can tell you something for free. That man over there batted like an absolute superstar. He has proven a lot of people wrong. We have to build for next season, there’s an unrealistic chance of making the playoff. Yuvraj was just unbelievable. I’m always smiling.”
Kohli was ecstatic to have won the match, and said: “Feels amazing, really wanted that win. In the field we made a few lapses but overall a good performance. It’s important not to panic and this time I told Chahal to back himself and I backed my bowlers too. It’s been very pleasing to see Yuvi bat like that, all those who doubted him should put those doubts to rest. We have to take it one game at a time and the results will follow.”
Singh was named Man of the Match, and said: “It was important we finished really well. I’ve started really well and just kept believing in myself and the seniors believed in me. I wanted to come to a place where I can be myself and play my game and thanks to Vijay Mallya for bringing me over here.”