It was another disappointing play by Royal Challengers Bangalore yesterday as they went down to a seven wicket loss to Deccan Chargers at home [SCORECARD]. The pitch was a good T20 wicket with nice bounce, carry through and nice pace. It also had something early on as it aided the seamers. Winning the toss, Gilchrist had no objection but to field and put the Challengers in. RCB dropped Kevin Pietersen and looked to play some serious cricket and this was evident by their daring decision to drop their most expensive player. Saldy things didn't pan out that way with Manish Pandey being bowled neck and crop by Harris. Rahul Dravid was sent up the oder for the first time this IPL and Kallis and he got the ship moving, but Dravid fell trying to up the ante. The next few batsmen followed Dravid quickly with RCB in deep trouble. Virat Kohli (58) and and Kallis (68) played slowly compensating and RC was sitting at a rather uncomfortable position at 96 for 4 after 14 overs. The next six overs all hell broke lose as Kallis and Virat chased the bowlers all over the park! In the end thanks to some magnificent hits by Virat and Kallis RCB made 184.
Deccan started slowly going at less than a run a ball in the first six, but will Gilchrist there, the match was very much alive. Soon Gilchrist kick started with Suman playing the anchor role. Gilchrist was soon removed by a Kumble beauty. Soon followed the DC skipper Rohit as he was caught of Vinay Kumar. With still nearly 100 to get Symonds and Suman played some outstanding cricket helping the team cross the finish line.
The top order batting was woeful except for Kallis and Dravid. Dravid played a good short knock but didn't make it a big innings, while Uthappa and Taylor hardly troubled the scorers. Leaving Pietersen out was a daring move and I believe it to be a positive as well as a desperate move. Virat Kohli showed his talent once again and sent a strong message to the selection team for dropping him for the T20 World Cup. One of moments of the match was when Kohli hit a six and lost his balance but thanks to youthfullness and lightening quick reflexes, he avoided falling on the stumps like Roy Fredericks did in the 1975 World Cup. Kallis was at his extraordinary best yet again and got yet another brilliant fifty. I'm pretty sure that the orange cap will be with Kallis till the end of the IPL. Cameron White slammed two big sixes in the last two balls helping RCB go past the 180 mark.
The RC bowling was good upfront but after the 8th over, things started going badly until the Challenger's pulled things back in the tenth over with Gilchrist's wicket, but still the Chargers ran riot. All the bowlers were taken for runs this match, including Kumble who has been the most economical bowler this IPL. The bowling was woeful and conceded too many runs at the death. Steyn, Praveen and Vinay Kumar bowled erratic lines and some very big full tosses that were rightly deposited into the stands. Suman played with great maturity and showed his potential for perhaps the first time so far in the IPL.
Congrats to Suman, Symonds, and the Deccan Chargers team. We were outplayed just a little and in the end we were so close yet so far away. This makes life more difficult for RCB but I'm sure a semi spot is theirs.