Royal Challengers v NSW, 1st semi-final, CLT20, Bangalore October 7, 2011

RCB rip through second consecutive 200-plus target


Royal Challengers Bangalore 204 for 4 (Gayle 92, Kolhi 84*, Cummins 4-45) beat New South Wales 203 for 2 (Warner 123*, D Smith 62) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Bring the ramparts from Galle, the wall from China, the many castles from Europe. Bring all the defence buildings, tanks, experts. Place them in the Chinnaswamy Stadium, fast becoming the Wanderers of the northern hemisphere. Hide your 200-plus targets behind them. Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Virat Kolhi will still chase them down at this venue. David Warner tonight became the first man to score back-to-back Twenty20 centuries, but even more incredibly the Royal Challengers Bangalore became the first team to chase down 200-plus scores in consecutive matches, that too with nine balls to spare.

Before the match, Gayle and Warner, soon to be opening partners for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, were seen chatting with each other. When walking back, Warner took a look at Gayle's bat. He held it sideways, and his jaw dropped looking at the thickness of the leading edge. They both had a laugh, and went their separate ways for the night. Gayle laughed the final laugh, though, as his 92 off 41 in company with Kohli's unbeaten 84 off 49 outdid Warner's extraordinary 123 off 68 and Daniel Smith's 62 off 42. That leading edge was never hit on a night when clean hits tested the size of the stadium, and the half-hits managed to clear the short boundaries. Warner and Gayle dented the roof once each, but Gayle - symbolically - managed to send one out of the stadium. Records fell like crops during a hurricane, and the crowd - who must tire of this some day - matched the hitting with their incredible noise, appreciating both teams, only the home side more loudly.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore chose to chase again, packing their side with an extra batsman. Clearly all their eggs were in the basket woven together by Dilshan, Gayle and Kolhi. The basket proved to be strong enough. Incredible as it may sound, it was perhaps Dilshan who made the most crucial contribution even though he managed just four off nine. On a night that the other 34.3 overs went for 397 runs, Dilshan bowled his four overs for 10 runs at the top of the NSW innings. On a night that 26 sixes and 34 fours were hit, Dilshan went for none, as the Royal Challengers registered their least expensive Powerplay overs of this tournament, going for 47 runs. That Dilshan registered the Royal Challengers' most economic four-over figures was perhaps the most crucial record on a night that must have sent statisticians into frenzy.

Daniel Vettori's captaincy has come in for a bit of criticism in this event, mainly for under-using his part-time spinners, but he got it right when he asked Dilshan to bowl the first over of the night. It is hard to say if it was the batsmen were a touch too circumspect. The question must only arise because the contrast between his figures and the rest was stark. He did seem to do the right things, though: he didn't give the batsmen the pace or the rank bad deliveries. That he managed to frustrate Shane Watson into the rare injudicious shot of the night, costing him his wicket, drew a bit of caution, and he rushed through his quota.

Apart from that, the rest of the NSW innings - the whole match in fact - was carnage, par for the Chinnaswamy course. Daniel Smith cheeked his way to a maiden fifty, even managing to out-hit Warner for a while. He late-cut delicately, drove over cover with aplomb, slogged savagely, and enjoyed a few edges, even as Warner sized up the bowlers and the field, a time bomb ticking over.

Once he got into acceleration mode in the 10th over, hitting a full toss from S Aravind for four past long-on, there was no stopping Warner. He scored 81 off the last 33 balls he faced as NSW looted 131 from the last 10.1 overs. Of the 11 sixes that Warner hit, two stood out: the regulation slog over midwicket that hit the roof, and the switch-slog off the medium-pace of Raju Bhatkal, which cleared wide long-off with ease. Dirk Nannes, who many believe shouldn't have been allowed to play this tournament, went for 51 in his four, reaching a tournament economy-rate of 10.42 for a solitary wicket.

Even after 23 runs off the last over, once again damaging poor Aravind's figures, there was uncertainty around the total. NSW would need to cut singles, keep twos down to one, and take miraculous catches. They dropped three of them. Dilshan's miss didn't hurt them much, but Kohli made them pay for two lives. One of them was a sitter dropped by Pat Cummins when Kohli was on 44. Ironically, after Cummins had taken three wickets to give NSW another life, the miraculous catch offered itself. Kohli had been under pressure then, the last 14 balls had brought nine runs, and they now needed 24 off 16. A highly unreliable lower order waited. Kohli slogged, the mis-hit went to the right and in front of long-on, Moises Henriques charged after it, but couldn't convert the half chance.

Kolhi proceeded to knock off the rest of the target with ease. Just as easy as it had earlier seemed for Kohli and Gayle. It seemed all they needed to do was raise the bat high; by some sort of design, they would hit the ball well and in the gaps. At times Gayle wouldn't even need the back lift. He just caressed a few full deliveries for parallel sixes and fours. It was a highlights package that had to be further edited for time. A good old friend, the yorker, was sorely missed among the crowd of fancy slower balls of all varieties. The only one produced got NSW a wicket.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Christopher on October 10, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Warner has never made a hundred on a track with pace,bounce or seam. Hes never made a hundred against a top class attack. All of his 2- 1st class, 2 List A and 3 -20/20 hundreds over his 4.5 year career have come on spinning flat tracks. The attack he faced had only Nannes with credentials and then,a left armer against a left hand bat on a flat track with 4 overs. Warner has undoubtedly worked on his game, but when one considers that Chris Rogers has scored 8000 runs and 28 1st class centuries in the same period and isnt being considered,reasonable people should understand the need for perspective.

  • Vinay on October 9, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    nice article which highlights the contribution of Dilshan.. very few would've expected him to bowl so early and he took NSW by surprise.. good captaincy n credit to RCB think tank.. NSW might have scored in excess of 250 if Watson had been around for some more time..

  • Apoorv on October 8, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Warner,it seems,has finally got his feet in international arena....he is so different player frm wat he was when he first burst on international scene.....he plays a lot more sensibly than he used to....his innings showed responsibility....i guess dis will earn a call in australia's limited over will take atleast a year or so to earn dat baggy green....

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    Chris Gayle the beast. He's a Minotaur as strong as a bull. No one not even Afridi hits as big a six then Christopher Gayle Period!!!

  • John on October 8, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    re man of the match - I can see why they would give it to Kohli , Gayle or Warner or even Dils for his bowling. The latter's batting wasn't great so maybe that cancelled out his bowling stats. Warner was a one man team and without Warner NSW would more than likely not got near the 200 mark and had the game gone their way their surely could only have been one winner of the MOM award. Gayle's inns was blistering but then Kohli saw the game through , so I guess it depends on what you thought was more important

  • sampath on October 8, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    what a match it has been! Chris Gayle Virat kohli you beaty! Huge sixes from gayle seems unbelievable. Warner too seemed extraordinary.

  • Rene on October 8, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Gayle/Warner did really well. Such a run fest is almost nauseating to view, however. I prefer a match where bowlers have some semblance of an input other than offering balls to be hit. Cudoes to Dilshan for his spell in such circumstances.

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    The chris gayle took away the match from NSW in first 10 overs..he deserved man of the match ratherthan kohli..shocked...

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    NSW 20 OVERS 203 RCB 18.3 OVERS 204

    WANER 123 (68) SMITH 62 (42) GAYLE 92 (41) KOHLI 84 (49)


    4 OVERS, 10 RUNS, 1 WICKET

  • Dummy4 on October 8, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    RCB had good batting line up but the bowling is so worse they have to improve their bowling .and kohli deserves the MOM

  • No featured comments at the moment.