The team I write about versus the team I care about. Undoubtedly my most awaited, and worth the wait it was too.
Going into the match, Delhi brought in the under-appreciated McDonald for Henriques (which made the latter unfortunate since he played only once), and in a bid to shore up their batting (I suppose) a new face in Kedar Jadhav. When up against RCB, one always gets the feeling they are more comfortable chasing than defending. Karthik was relieved of making a decision as Kumble got it right and then did the right by opting to bowl.
RCB hadn’t lost a game at home this edition but with DD, form and past don’t count for much and no one really picked anyone as having a clear edge over the other. Warner intimidated the bowlers (and also Sehwag) with the scorching ugliness of his brutality as the score went up to 40 within the first 3. His job was done and the gentleman that he is, didn’t overstay his invitation. 33 0ff 14 he had amassed by then against a supposedly strong bowling outfit. Sehwag never quite recovered from the shock of being out-scored and was on his way soon after.
With Karthik (I-always-hold-the-team’s-batsmen-responsible-for-the-losses) at the other end, AB knew he had no choice but to deliver. Eager to impress his skipper, he found some form and the two of them took the team’s score past 100 in 11. AB thinking it to be a good idea showed his captain he can play the straight drive but ended up finding his skipper short of the crease following a Steyn deflection. Fortunately for DD, AB wasn’t as affected as it seemed and he along with Jadhav took the team safely into the time out with no further loss of wickets.
16 overs gone, 4 to go, AB well set on 45 from 35, this should be fun. First ball post time-out, Jadhav does the appropriate thing- give AB as much strike as possible – AB is late on his dive and Morgan obliges with a direct hit. Oh damn, what a waste! We can forget about that 180 now unless McD comes up with something Victorian. McD did come up with a six but it was Jadhav who showed the bigger appetite as he notched up his 50 off just 29 balls. It was a remarkable little innings given it was the youngster’s first game(?) and he was up against the likes of Steyn.
Defending 184 wasn’t going to be a breeze with RCB having the crowd on their back and all. Nannes was ineffective for the 2nd game in a row as Kallis and Pandey notched up their customary 50 run opening stand. The run-rate though wasn’t a dispiriting high and the Daredevils’ heads were still held high. Kallis alarmed at the sight of his <100 SR played a rash blind shot and found his stumps in a disarray, Pandey played all around a ball zooming onto his leg-stump and Dravid forgot to strap on his brain as he turned back for a non-existent second off his very first ball, Uthappa lost his composure at the sight of Dravid’s dismissal and got out playing a reverse paddle. They had reduced RCB to 90/4 after 12 and it wasn’t as if they bowled well or anything.
Watching AB run Morgan out was kinda bitter-sweet. Sweet because AB had avenged his own dismissal and bitter because Morgan had failed to fulfill his potential and he had run out of time with the impending arrival of KP. Once Boucher left playing a pull, there was only one thing left to speak about – AB’s Karbon Kamaal catch. Some said it is the catch of the millenium, some said it is the catch of the year, still others said it is the catch of the tournament, but none said ‘Bah Humbug’. I felt it deserved a more auspicious setting- a better batsman and a tighter occasion.
Next Up: KKR. Contain Gayle and a victory should be halfway there.