RCB choke, then win in Super Over
Delhi Daredevils 152 for 5 (Unadkat 2-24) tied with Royal Challengers Bangalore 152 for 7 (Kohli 65, de Villiers 39)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Royal Challengers Bangalore won the Super Over
It was a match neither team seemed to want to win. Low on quality, it headed towards what looked like a natural result, a Royal Challengers Bangalore victory, for about 33 overs. Out of the other seven, two produced 30 runs for Delhi Daredevils at the end, two were a contest between Morne Morkel and Chris Gayle that the bowler won, and the other three featured an almighty choke from Royal Challengers that resulted in a tie despite a Ravi Rampaul six in the last over when they needed 12.
Umesh Yadav nearly won it for Delhi in the Super Over with four yorkers or near-yorkers at the top, which went for three runs, but he missed the length on the last two, and AB de Villiers deposited both of them over deep midwicket for sixes. Royal Challengers, nursing their demons of ties and close matches, called upon Rampaul, who has demons of his own in Super Overs, but he had also bowled a maiden and hit that six over extra cover when it seemed Royal Challengers had seen a ghost and forgotten how to bat.
Daredevils had a surprise in store too. Neither Virender Sehwag nor Mahela Jayawardene batted. David Warner found point first ball, and out came Irfan Pathan with two right gloves in hand. The glove changed, he picked up a length ball over square leg for four. Rampaul came back with a yorker, but Irfan pulled out an absolute rabbit by walking down to the fourth ball and ramping it over fine leg for a huge six.
With six required off the last two, Rampaul dished out a full toss, and got lucky. Irfan flicked it nicely, but found square leg. Six feet either side, and it would have been over. That bullet bitten, Rampaul bowled full and straight, and bowled out IPL debutant Ben Rohrer.
All this sporadic excitement, though, was like an old man out on a pacemaker at times. Except for a blinder of a return catch from R Vinay Kumar, that contest between Morkel and Gayle, and Rampaul's six, it was all curiously unspectacular. On a flat skiddy pitch with a quick small outfield around it, no Daredevils batsman reached 30, no Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler extracted disconcerting movement or extraordinary fortune, but somehow Daredevils remained subdued throughout their innings to end up with a paltry total by Bangalore standards. Most strikingly, Jayawardene scratched around for 28 off 31.
There was some spark to the Daredevils' start, but it was short-lived. Sehwag and Warner seemed to have set up a good base with 42 off the first five overs, but then Vinay plucked an unbelievable catch when Warner smashed one back at him. In the next over, Sehwag chipped a gentle loosener from Andrew McDonald straight to midwicket. Just like that, Daredevils found themselves in the jail, and couldn't find a way out.
Over after over of steady bowling went by, but Jayawardene could neither find his touch nor get out. Jaydev Unadkat then worked Manprit Juneja over with bouncers, and the latter was eventually caught back for a length ball and holed out to long-on. Rohrer then found deep midwicket with a long hop. Just like that, Daredevils found themselves in solitary confinement.
There were periods of mercy for Daredevils. Royal Challengers omitted to appeal on a run-out, gave one more last over to RP Singh, but Daredevils could still muster only 152.
Daredevils' bowling might not be the most rounded for Twenty20 environment, but it sure is exciting. The Powerplay of the chase was all drama. In the first over, Ashish Nehra was denied a plumb lbw of KL Rahul, but he came back to get him a second time and gave him a justified send-off.
At the other end, Morkel went hard at Gayle, bowling 145kmph and upwards and short of a length. Gayle was equal to it, putting behind the plays-and-misses, and hitting two sixes off Morkel. Eventually the bowler prevailed with a thick edge flying all the way to third man. That, though, was only a third of the work done for Daredevils.
Coming together at 26 for 2 in the fourth over, the other two-thirds turned it on, matching each other shot for shot before Kohli ran away with it when he targeted the left-arm spin of Shahbaz Nadeem in the middle overs. When Kolhi pulled a long hop from Irfan for four in the 14th over, he brought up yet another fifty, and also brought the asking rate down to a run a ball. And the two could have strolled the rest of the way through.
When de Villiers was run out at the end of the 16th over, Royal Challengers needed 24 off 24 with seven wickets in hand. Daredevils didn't do anything spectacular after that, just held their catches and saw Royal Challengers implode. McDonald chipped one back to Nadeem. Arun Karthik ran himself out when he didn't want to take the third off the last ball of the 18th over because that would mean Kohli would be off strike at the start of the next over. Kohli disagreed.
At any rate, Kohli didn't have the strike, and J Syed Mohammad lobbed one straight to long-on. Kohli drove the next ball inside-out, and found Jayawardene. It was 15 off eight now. Irfan, though, began the next over with a wide half-volley, which Rampaul picked the bones out of. Irfan came back well in the rest of the over, and then almost got his own back at Rampaul in the Super Over, but after a twist or two the match did reach its natural conclusion.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo