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Bangalore stun Delhi, keep hopes alive

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: May 19, 2009 23:45 IST
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Jacques Kallis hit an unbeaten half-century to guide the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a convincing seven-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils and keep their hopes of making it to the semi-finals in the Indian Premier League alive, in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Kallis drew on all his experience and carried his bat through the innings during his unbeaten knock of 58 from 56 deliveries in a must-win game for Bangalore.

Rahul Dravid scored a brisk 38 from 34 deliveries, but it was Ross Taylor, who made sure of Bangalore's victory with a quickfire 25 from 12 deliveries.

Earlier, Praveen Kumar bagged two wickets in his opening over, those of Virender Sehwag and Mithun Manhas for ducks, and Delhi never really recovered after that. They lost wickets at regular intervals to the Bangalore spinners, with Anil Kumble claiming two for 24 in four overs, before finishing on 134 for seven in their 20 overs.

Dinesh Karthik top-scored with 31 from 29 deliveries and AB de Villiers made 28 from 29 deliveries, but the rest of the batsmen failed to cope with spin on a slow pitch.

Delhi innings:

Electing to bat, Delhi were immediately under the hammer after a double strike from Praveen Kumar in the first over of the innings.

Virender Sehwag faced just three balls before he hit one straight to Ross Taylor at square leg and was dismissed for a duck. (0-1, 0.2)

The Delhi captain's struggle in the IPL continues; he now has 109 runs from nine matches at 13.62, with a highest of 38 not out.

Two deliveries later, Mithun Manhas decided to take on a short delivery from Kumar but got a top edge which flew towards Jacques Kallis at second slip. (0-2, 0.5)

Gautam Gambhir seemed keen not to let the Bangalore bowlers continue their domination and broke free with a boundary and six in the third over. He did not stop at that and hammered B Akhil for consecutive boundaries in his first over to take Delhi to 28 for two after five.

The left-hander, however, gifted his wicket with a rash shot after a quick 27 off 19 deliveries. He tried to uppercut a short delivery from Jacques Kallis but hit it straight to Taylor at point. (37-3, 6)

In-form AB de Villiers looked set for a big knock before he was beaten by the arm delivery from compatriot Roelof Van der Merwe and was bowled for 28 from 29 deliveries. (65-4, 10.3)

Debutant Andrew McDonald didn't last long either and was beaten all ends up by a quick yorker from Anil Kumble, bowled for 3. (70-5, 11.3)

Bangalore spinners Van der Merwe, Kumble and part-timer Virat Kohli dried up the runs so much so that Delhi failed to find a boundary for around seven overs. Debutant Yogesh Nagar broke the shackles when he hit Van der Merwe through the covers for a boundary off the last delivery of the 16th over.

He, however, fell in Kumble's next over for 20 when his lofted shot over the covers landed straight in the lap of Robin Uthappa. (109-6, 16.5)

Dinesh Karthik top-scored with a brisk 31 from 29 deliveries before his attempted paddle sweep off Kumar was taken by Robin Uthappa at fine leg. (114-7, 17.5)

The last two overs went according to plan for Bangalore but for a minor blip, when Uthappa dropped an easy catch from Daniel Vettori off Kumar in the final over.

Farveez Maharoof dealt mostly in singles to finish unbeaten on 18 from 13 deliveries and help Delhi reach 134 for seven in their 20 overs.

Bangalore conceded just two boundaries in the second half of the innings as their spinners weaved a web around the Delhi batsmen.

Delhi, who have already made it to the semi-finals, seemed a bit complacent and none of their batsmen took the responsibility of settling in and ensuring that they stitch together some big partnerships.

Kumble was Bangalore's best bowler with two for 24 from four overs, while Van der Merwe supported him well with one for 31.

 Kumar triggered it all with two wickets in the first over to finish with three for 30 in his four overs.

Bangalore innings:

Bangalore also lost a wicket in the first over of the innings when Robin Uthappa was caught behind off Ashish Nehra for 1. (2-1, 1)

The senior duo of Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid then preferred to play it safe and never tried to cut loose. Bangalore reached 54 for one after 10 overs, but faced a stiff task, needing another 81 from the last ten overs.

Debutant Yogesh Nagar then struck in his first over when he claimed the wicket of Dravid. The former India captain tried to play a short delivery from the off-spinner through the leg side but ended up spooning a return catch to the bowler.

Dravid made 38 from 34 deliveries, adding 70 runs in 69 deliveries for the second wicket with Kallis.

The match was still not safe as far as Bangalore was concerned, with 59 needed from the last seven overs. But the in-form Taylor changed the match with a cameo knock of 25.

He slammed a boundary and six in consecutive deliveries off Aavishkar Salvi in the 14th over to ease Bangalore's nerves. He then chose youngster Nagar for further treatment when he smashed consecutive sixes through the leg-side to bring the equation down to 34 from 32 deliveries.

He, however, fell attempting another big shot and was caught at long-on off Nagar. The Kiwi right-hander smashed 25 from 12 deliveries, inclusive of three sixes and a boundary, to change the course of the game. (101-3, 14.5)

Thereafter, it was just a question of keeping a cool head. And Kallis proved to the perfect batsman for in the circumstances as he batted solidly and never let Delhi bowlers even a sniff at the wicket.

Kallis made sure of victory when he carted Vettori over the covers for a six and followed it up with a boundary two deliveries later through the same area in the 18th over.

He finished unbeaten on 58 from 56 deliveries, inclusive of two sixes and two boundaries, as Bangalore reached 135 for three in 19 overs to win the match by three wickets.

In the end, Delhi's lowly total hardly proved a challenge for Bangalore, who cruised to the target quite easily.

Nehra was again impressive with the ball, taking one for 21, but the rest of the bowlers, including Vettori, failed to contain the batsmen on a slowish pitch.

With this victory, Bangalore jumped to fourth in the standings with 14 points from 13 games and stayed in contention for a place in the semis.

Deccan Chargers (14 points), Rajasthan Royals (13) and Kings XI Punjab (13) also have a chance to grab the remaining two slots in the last four along with Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings.

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Harish Kotian

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