Royal Challengers Bangalore took another step towards early elimination from IPL 2019 after crashing to their sixth straight defeat, this time going down by four wickets to Delhi Capitals at home on Sunday.
In perfect batting conditions, RCB failed to make their presence felt once again. Delhi pace ace Kagiso Rabada sliced through the RCB batting on a docile pitch, using slower ones and cross seam deliveries to finish with 4-21 as Bangalore could only post 149-8.
A target of 150 was at least 25 runs below par and it showed in the chase as Delhi were barely troubled as a captain’s knock by Shreyas Iyer (67 off 50) took them home with four wickets in hand, despite a late wobble.
Bangalore have now lost the first six games of the season, becoming only the second team in the tournament’s history to have such a horror start after Delhi Daredevils did so in 2013.
Bangalore are flirting with early elimination as seven defeats is generally the most a team can afford in the playoff race.
South African quick Rabada has been nearly unhittable in the ongoing IPL, going for more than 32 runs just once in five games before Sunday. And on Sunday, it was his turn to get among the wickets to show for all that accurate and quick bowling.
Rabada started things off by deceiving AB de Villiers with a split finger slower ball to have the star batsman caught at mid on, who had to pedal back. Next up was the big fish Virat Kohli, who was looking to change gears after reaching 41 off 32 balls. A cross seam ball hit Kohli’s drive high on the bat and was pouched at the long on fence.
Akshdeep Nath and Pawan Negi could only nick the quick behind as Rabada finished with super figures of 4-21.
LAMICHHANE’S OFF DAY
Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is one of the premier T20 bowlers in the world. But he also has the propensity to leak runs. Sunday was one such day as he was taken to the cleaners, hit for four sixes as he conceded 46 from his four overs.
However, he did redeem himself by comprehensively beating Moeen Ali to have the Englishman stumped.
RCB MAKE A MESS OF IT
Defending a target of 150 required Bangalore to snap up every little chance that came their way. After getting opener Shikhar Dhawan caught at point third ball of the chase, RCB made the biggest mistake of the game when wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel failed to hold on to an edge offered by Iyer off Tim Southee.
Iyer was on four at that time and made Royal Challengers pay for that lapse. It helped that the run rate was not too demanding as he forged a match-winning stand of 68 with Prithi Shaw.
Shaw provided the moment of the match when he dispatched Southee for five successive boundaries, including a leg bye, to break the hosts’ spirit.
Fast bowler Navdeep Saini’s bowling was the only bright spot for Kohli as the pacer consistently clocked over 150kphs throughout his four-over spell to end with figures of 2-24. However, Kohli will rue the dropped chance in the first over, which could have made things interesting as Delhi had a mini collapse right at the end, losing three wickets for two runs.
But the target was too small and Bangalore too dispirited to challenge Delhi.
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