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April 17, 2013
Royal Challengers Bangalore hung on for a win against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday night, in a match they should have cruised to victory in. When AB de Villiers was run out, the hosts needed 24 at a run a ball, with seven wickets in hand and captain Virat Kohli batting on 62 off 43. Then, they imploded, leaving Nos. 8 and 9, Vinay Kumar and Ravi Rampaul, 12 to get off the final over. That collapse, de Villiers said after the game, told "a bad story of our batting line-up".
Rampaul managed to drag it to the Super Over, but even there it was not smooth sailing for Royal Challengers: it took a couple of late sixes from de Villiers to lift them to a defendable 15, which Rampaul just about defended.
That Super Over, de Villiers said, was tough to get through: "It might be entertaining for the viewers but I tell you, it's not very enjoyable when you're out there with so much pressure and only six balls. I was very happy to see the last two balls sail over the boundary, which got us into a good position to win the game."
De Villiers took his share of the blame for the game coming to that - he had hit straight to Morne Morkel at mid-off and set off for a run he was always going to struggle to complete. "I personally have to take a bit of responsibility for that. My run-out started a big collapse and that was unfortunate," he said. "In saying that, we do have some serious batting firepower upfront and hence we should have finished this game in the 20 overs itself. The fact that we collapsed a bit, tells a bad story about our batting line-up."
This was not the first nail-biter in the tournament for Royal Challengers. They won their opening game against Mumbai Indians by two runs, after Vinay bowled a fine over with Mumbai needing 10, then came the unsuccessful Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings' jailbreak courtesy RP Singh's last-delivery no-ball in their previous match.
The good thing to come out of all this for Royal Challengers, de Villiers said, was they now knew what it was like to deal with extreme pressure: "That's the positive that we will take out - the fact that we won a pressure game. There were a lot of negatives in the way we batted out there, but the fact that we pulled through it means a lot to us all."
Royal Challengers' mainstay Gayle did not have much to contribute with the bat on Tuesday, scoring 13 off 9 in normal time and, more importantly, 2 off 2 in the Super Over. De Villiers said the team must deliver more consistently, even when Gayle fails. "Chris is a fantastic player but one guy cannot perform in every game. Myself, Virat and a few other batsmen in the team understand that we will have to win some games for the team as well. We have a lot of experience in our batting line-up and it's time that we start to take control of the games."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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