Cricket

AB's Royal Challengers flop

2014-04-26 21:53
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Abu Dhabi - The Rajasthan Royals came away with an emphatic six-wicket win after destroying the Royal Challengers' line-up for 70 runs in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

It was not particularly convincing, or entertaining, as they lost early wickets and ended up scratching and edging their way to their target in 13 overs.

Royal Challengers were torn apart by controlled bowling in just 15 overs. The 42-year-old legspinner Pravin Tambe led the way with four for 20, which earned him the man of the match award, but to be honest, he came in when the pacemen had done the damage and the Challengers were reeling like mindless punch-drunk boxers.

They were put in to bat, which was what Virat Kohli wanted anyway, but they were in no way prepared for what was to come. At the end of the first over, unusually using the gentle pace of Stuart Binny, they had lost Yogesh Takawale to an ambitious drive and the in-form Parthiv Patel, who reacted slowly to a late call from Kohli and was run out well short.

Kohli and Yuvraj Singh could and should have consolidated. But Yuvraj went to the sort of shot you see batting coaches play in slip-cordon practice, off the first ball from Kane Richardson, in the third over. The next ball, AB de Villiers, the go-to man in the injury-enforced absence of Chris Gayle, tried to cut and chopped on and Richardson had two from two.

With the wicket offering movement and extra bounce, the pacemen had a field day. Shane Watson was rewarded when Sachin Rana chopped on in similar fashion and the Challengers were staggering at 17 for five.

Changing the pace, in came Tambe, who immediately got Albie Morkel with a well-flighted googly. It was a great opportunity missed for the South African, who is so often seen as a death hitter, but who had in this instance been given 14 overs in which to prove his batting credentials. There was an element of frustration in his shot, just as there was in Kohli's swat to midwicket, off Tembe's second over, having scored 21 off 25 balls.

After that, resistance crumbled. Although Mitchell Starc (18) and Ravi Rampaul (13) went for their shots, there was little heart and even less application. Tambe cleaned up the tail for his impressive figures.

Ajinkya Rahane got the Royals innings off to a good start with four fours before edging behind off Mitchell Starc. He was to claim another, when Karan Nair irrationally chased a wide delivery.

Young Sanju Samson trusted his speed too much to run himself out, but Shane Watson did enough with 24 off 24 (2x6) before he holed out.

Read more on:    ipl  |  cricket
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