Royal Challengers Bangalore got their IPL campaign kick started with a win against Punjab Kings XI team in front of a frenzy home crowd after the early hiccup a few days ago[SCORECARD]. Bangalore witnessed some heavy hitting as Punjab scored a mammoth total of 203 runs in their 20 overs thanks largely to Ravi Bopara and Bisla. The Punjab openers started slowly giving caution but soon after Bisla got into the act, followed soon by Bopara. The home team never having chased a target over 200 successfully found a herculean task at hand, but played some sensible and good cricket to climb the mountain with ease. Kallis and Pandey started well, but it was Robin Uthappa who came in and steam rolled the Punjab kings with a murderous 51 of just 21 balls. Kallis (89*) kept the ship steady at one end and contributed with the bat becoming the highest run scorer of the match and tournament.
The Challengers came onto the field with all the right strategies and spirit. The home crowd atmosphere made them revel in the field and the Challengers looked good, until Bisla and Bopara got going at least. Steyn bowled fast and furious and targeted Bisla's ribs, while Praveen Kumar got good amount of swing to encourage any pace bowler. Bisla looked completely out of see in the first 15 odd minutes and survived many anxious moments, but after that he took toll and started punishing the bowlers. The bowlers strayed in their lines but their biggest err was the the length I feel, even the Punjab bowlers did the same mistake.
Royal Challengers having been set a target of excess of 200 looked unperturbed and started positively with Pandey having a go at the bowlers. As soon as Pandey's cameo came to an end, Robin Uthappa was sent up the order. This was a brave and well thought out move by Kumble because Robin has been in woeful form this domestic season, but still he is one of the best aggressive players in India who can clear the boundary at will. Robin did his captain's faith good as he scored the second fastest half century of the IPL. Kallis on the other hand played his shots while at the same time letting Robin take the foreground. The walking assassin came in with a bulldozer, bulldozed and left the kings hapless. I asked Dillon Du Preez (Thanks to Aneesh Surender) "What Kallis and Robin had for lunch?" and he replied, "Both of them had some hot Indian food which seems to be working great, mate!" The wonders of hot Indian food are never ending! The match ended with some big shots from man of the match Kallis, and a Banglorean crowd going wild.
Bangalore had plenty to take from this match as their batting that let them down the previous match came good, and that they are back to winning ways with momentum on their side. The bowling could have been better, but one can't say much when 400 runs are scored in less than 40 overs in a match.
All in all Bangalore got the perfect gift for Ugadi.