Royal Challengers v Delhi Daredevils, IPL, Bangalore April 7, 2012

De Villiers, Murali overcome Delhi

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Royal Challengers Bangalore 157 for 8 (de Villiers 64*, Bracewell 3-32) beat Delhi Daredevils 137 for 7 (Murali 3-25) by 20 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Royal Challengers Bangalore were without their talisman Chris Gayle, who had an injured groin, but four other overseas players performed roles expected of them to give the campaign a successful start in front of a packed Chinnaswamy Stadium. AB de Villiers prevented Royal Challengers from finishing on a below-par score with a well paced half-century that contained a mix of the orthodox and the unconventional, while Muttiah Muralitharan, in his first game in these colours, confounded Delhi Daredevils' batsmen during an incisive, economical and match-turning spell.

Delhi Daredevils' major Indian stars also failed, with Irfan Pathan leaking 47 runs in a wicketless spell and Virender Sehwag making a duck in the chase. The visitors were competitive due to Doug Bracewell's performance with the ball and in the field, Morne Morkel's pace and bounce, and a cameo from Naman Ojha. That collective effort, however, was no match for the wealth of talent and experience of Royal Challengers' overseas performers.

De Villiers began his innings with Royal Challengers on 46 for 2 in six overs, and watched that platform erode because of regular wickets at the other end. That start had been given by Andrew McDonald, who targeted Irfan and the straight boundary to take 19 runs off the third over. McDonald's flurry ended when Bracewell sprinted back and to his right from mid-on, watching the ball over his head, and lunged full length to hold stupendous catch with one hand.

De Villiers scored at a run a ball for his first 22 deliveries, losing three partners on the way, and then launched Bracewell over extra cover to bring up the team's 100 in the 14th over. And then he began to turn it on, mixing deft glances and sweeps to the fine-leg boundary with audacious reverse-hits to third man. He hit Irfan for two such boundaries, getting into position early and reverse-swatting full tosses, one over the rope and the other short of it. De Villiers crashed another straight drive past the bowler, Bracewell, in the final over but could not get on strike for the final three deliveries, and so Royal Challengers could not get past 160. Bracewell finished the innings clinically for Daredevils, taking wickets with the final two balls to end on 3 for 32.

It was a heartening performance from Daredevils, considering they had lost Umesh Yadav to an injury after he bowled two overs for eight runs.

The start of Daredevils' chase was promising as well, with Aaron Finch threading the first three balls from Zaheer Khan to the boundary between point and cover. Sehwag, however, slapped his first ball to cover point and was caught. McDonald was economical at first change for Royal Challengers but Finch and Ojha steadied the chase, reaching 46 for 1 after six overs.

It was at this point that Daniel Vettori and Murali began to bowl in tandem, and peg Daredevils back. Finch was dropped at short third man in Vettori's first over, and Ojha by wicketkeeper de Villiers off Murali's first ball. Two balls later, however, Murali had Ojha edging to slip. And in his next over, he had Finch lbw, reducing Daredevils to 68 for 3 after ten overs. Vettori and Murali were so effective that, after scoring 12 runs off his first three balls, Finch was dismissed for 24 off 25.

The pressure created by Murali's first spell of 3-0-11-3 was so much that Daredevils struggled to rediscover their momentum. Irfan struck a few big blows towards the end to spoil some bowling analyses but it had been Royal Challengers' game since the 13th over of the chase, when the asking-rate inched over 10 while the spinners were being parsimonious.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • samjigeorge on April 9, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    DELHI DARE DEVILS TEAM .... WE DON'T HAVE GOOD BATTING LINE UP .... REALLY SAD .....

    SEHWAG...MAHELA...KEVIN...TAYLOR ... RUSSEL ..OJHA. VENU ... IRFAN ... AGARKAR ... NAGAR ... UMESH ... ...

    I THINK THIS IS A GOOD TEAM .. WHAT YOU THINK GUYS .....

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    i really hope they let mahela open the innings he's a top class opener in the shorter form. definite asset for Delhi.

  • SanjivAwesome on April 8, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    Virender Sehwag continues to draw down on his pension. He will be playing for IPL55 too so he has to pace himself today.

  • SuperSharky on April 8, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Great to see Murali The Magician back. And wow, that was some magic by AB. Great performance from the RCB team.

  • muh189 on April 8, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Murali cements his place in the side, I guess, and probably no room for dilshan

  • vrn59 on April 8, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    The good news for Delhi, though is that Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, who are both in fantastic form, will be available to play from the next match onwards. This will add some depth to their batting and will also allow Virender Sehwag to play more freely. My XI: 1. Sehwag 2. Pietersen 3. N Ojha (wk) 4. Jayawardene 5. Rao 6. Nagar 7. van der Merwe 8. I Pathan 9. M Morkel 10. Yadav 11. Nadeem

  • vrn59 on April 8, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Fantastic all-round performance by RCB! de Villiers and Muralitharan really proved their worth (or more, in Murali's case!). I think Delhi is a strong team that made some fundamental tactical errors. Why would Sehwag choose to open the bowling with Irfan Pathan and Doug Bracewell when he had Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav? Morkel is a world-class T20 bowler with the new ball. Also, why were Andre Russell and Roelof van der Merwe left on the bench? DD needed Russell's batting firepower and van der Merwe's left-arm spin! Russell was especially crucial because the likes of Venugopal Rao are known to be slow scorers. Also, I thought Sehwag batted extremely irresponsibly, knowing well that there wasn't much batting to follow him.

  • dummy4fb on April 8, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Well ! Well! DD was doing well with the two wells; Bracewell and Maxwell. Viru just did a Viru and managed to dump his team into the well.

  • love_4_the_game on April 8, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    nice show and gud team effort from RCB... it'll be interesting to see wat thr 4 overseas player combination for the remaining matches, wen gayle is fit to play and wen dilshan joins the team.

  • shrastogi on April 8, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Umesh Yadav injury did make an effect on the match. Now a days you dont need to bowl good deliveries to get Sehwag out. A juicy wide ball outside the off stump in first few overs is sufficient as his shot slection is progressively becoming poor. The free hand given to him by Gary Kirsten had its downside and is now reflected in his batting. Odd days he may get away with everything but more often than not DD would get exasperated with his attitude. Irfan Pathan proved me right with his bowling. He needs to do much better. RCB can win without Gayle and served as good diversion for airline mess of its owner.

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