Royal Challengers v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Sharjah April 24, 2014

RCB lose after having game in the bag


Kolkata Knight Riders 150 for 7 (Lynn 45, Kallis 43, Aaron 3-16) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 148 for 5 (Takawale 40) by two runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Agarkar: RCB lost it, more than KKR winning

How quickly does a Twenty20 game change? Ask Royal Challengers Bangalore. For virtually the entire duration, the match was in their grasp: their bowlers had combined to limit Kolkata Knight Riders to 150 on a flat track in Sharjah, their openers had put them on course in the chase, and even though Yuvraj Singh flapped about towards the end, the asking-rate was never out of hand. Even at the start of the final over with two renowned finishers, AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel, in the middle, Royal Challengers were favourites.

Nine runs were needed, and Knight Riders' two major threats, Sunil Narine and Morne Morkel, had bowled out. Vinay Kumar stepped up to the job and delivered an over filled with full deliveries that kept his old team down to six, sparking delirious celebrations from the Knight Riders camp.

When a bowler defends nine off the final over in a Twenty20, that too against some of the finest hitters in the world, you'd expect him to hog the headlines. However, it is Chris Lynn who everyone will be talking about after he took a preposterous, acrobatic catch to send back de Villiers and turn the game in the final over.

De Villiers was looking to clear the long boundary at midwicket - the pitch was at the edge of the square - and though he connected well, there wasn't enough to clear the rope. He might still have survived, as Lynn had slipped and fallen before the ball got to him. That didn't deter Lynn, who leapt up and plucked that powerful hit bending his back like a high-jumper, and flopped to the ground, somehow managing it all without touching the rope which was a yard behind.

Given the sheer athleticism involved, the stage of the game, and the player who was dismissed by it, it's hard to see how Lynn's catch will be topped this season. "I slipped and I thought if I stood up and dropped the catch, it would look very silly, so just stayed down," was Lynn's straight-faced explanation when asked about his game-changing grab.

After de Villiers' exit Royal Challengers needed six off two, not entirely out of reach, especially for a hitter like Morkel. But the catch left Royal Challengers stunned, and even though the final delivery was a hittable full toss, Morkel couldn't put it away, and Knight Riders' jailbreak was complete.

The high drama at the end masked a diffident performance from Knight Riders for much of the game. The only other passage in the match when they looked in control was when Lynn was in the middle, swatting sixes off the returning Muttiah Muralitharan. Lynn, bought as an afterthought in the IPL auctions, showed some of the big-hitting that has earned him loyal fans in the Big Bash League.

Lynn put on 80 for the third wicket with Jacques Kallis, after Gautam Gambhir fell for his third successive duck and the in-form Manish Pandey faltered. Lynn's dismissal in the 12th over drained the momentum from Knight Riders' innings and they finished on what seemed an inadequate score. Varun Aaron showed he had control as well as pace, and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal turned in his third impressive performance in a row to keep the Knight Riders in check.

Royal Challengers' dominance increased after their openers, Parthiv Patel and Yogesh Takawale, provided a strong start, and Virat Kohli was at his usual best to guide the chase along. Narine was watchfully played out till Kohli was bamboozled off the penultimate ball of his spell to give Knight Riders a faint chance. Yuvraj couldn't force the pace towards the end, reviving memories of his painful World Twenty20 final innings and giving Knight Riders more of a grip on the game, before Vinay and Lynn yanked it out of Royal Challengers' hands.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shyjinth on April 26, 2014, 5:03 GMT

    Just another bad day at office !!!!! RCB--don't let the loss dampen your spirits. You're great team filled with match winners , bowling has been a revelation & have it in you to go all the way to the final.... Having said that, what an incredible catch by Chriss Lynn ?

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2014, 20:29 GMT

    GG i not scoring but his team is winning. that matters only.

  • Rahul on April 25, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    I wont be surprised if teams start dropping catches of Yuvraj. They should. Its a great strategy for any team to stop RCB from scoring & putting pressure on the batsmen at his opposite end to score.If they did yesterday,RCB should've lost that by a bigger margin. Its just embarrassing and he doesn't even realize it. 14 crores,Yuvraj can have that,but losing that pride and respect among the fans is irreversible.Yuvraj lost that respect when he was blocking deliveries and playing for his own place in the team rather than even trying to win a WC for India at T20.He has been struggling since his comeback and it feels like Charity Tournaments for him.WCT20 was a warmup tournament for him,when he was just picked because he is "Yuvi" without proving anything in Ranji.Besides 3-4 T20s innings(And a dead rubber against Aus with no pressure),Yuv hasnt done much since 2 years. How much is this going to cost India and RCB more?Its a joke when you need other players to always shield you(MSD,SRT)

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    @CPT.Meanster Tell me one IPL performer who has got an extended run in the Indian team. If you want I can give you a whole list of players who are IPL performers and are never seen in the internationa test/ODI circuit . The class is missing. I have greater respect for people who perform in the Ranji Trophy than in the IPL.

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    What has happened to Yuvraj, this dude is done. He has lost his confidence, and I hope he never plays for India again, he is not the same which is fine. He won us one world cup but please you are done. With that said RCB can be the best team in the IPL but they consistently end up playing close game, if they want to win the trophy they will have to depend on players that can deliver in batting and bowing during crunch situations and YUVRAJ is not that player, He is not the same and they are not going to win with him.

  • Subhajit on April 25, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    There was a lot of people chanting about RCB's batting & their middle order power but,what call the real batting strength shown by KKR. 3 matches & 3 partnerships delivered in 1st one Manish&Kallis,in 2nd Manish & Robin, &in 3rd Kallis & Lynn. And then the fielding helping a lot to the KKR bowling.Before the match started except the KKR fans everyone supporting RCB but KKR proved again that this game isn't played only with big names. Great Job #KKR,#Lynn,#Narine,#Kallis ,Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo

  • David on April 25, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    @ ramz30380 complains "If AB and Albie cudnt score 10 from 9 balls, are ppl kidding to blame Yuvi! Why is he made a scape goat always! I am not a big Yuvi fan, but anyone with cricket sense will see for themslves wht happened on the field!"

    What happened on the field is that Yuvraj faced 34 balls. Morkel faced 5, AB faced 11. Yuvraj had time to get settled, to get his eye in, to get used to the pace of the pitch, all in the middle over. Yuvraj got out tamely by hitting the ball straight to deep point. AB hit a boundary clearing ball that would have won the game, but was inches short enough for Lynn to take a 1 in a million catch.

    Yuvraj took up 34 balls, a total of 5.4 overs, a little over a quarter of of the balls RCB faced, and managed 31 runs. Virat scored 31 off 23 balls.

    What happened out in the field is that AB came in facing the scoreboard pressure Yuvraj had created, & failed by inches to an incredible catch, whereas Yuvraj took up a quarter of RCB's innings, and wasted it!

  • Android on April 25, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    kkr need to still change combination and batting order 1.manish pandey 2 jaques kallis 3. chris lynn/gg 4. chris lynn/gg 5. robin uthappa 6. saqib al hasan/ryan ten deoschate 7. sk yadav 8. piyush chawla 9. vinay kumar 10. sunil narine 11. umesh yadav

  • Mehul on April 25, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    No one could have doubted the talent & skill in the batting lineup of RCB. Any amount of total wasn't enough for someone like Kohli, the master chaser along with Yuvi & ABD, but kudos to KKR for some amazing bowling to keep them under pressure and getting crucial wickets at the right moment. Above all Chris Lynn along with his 45 runs took one of the most bizarre & unbelievable catch ever witnessed. Congrats KKR, you deserve this.

  • Ramya on April 25, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Why this hatred on Yuvi?! AB - the 2nd best finisher of the game (MSD is the 1st for me) cudnt score as well - he scored 11 out of 12 balls and refused a single to Albie Morkel, before hitting it out for a spectacular catch to Lynn. Albie cudnt hit a full toss - the last ball for a boundary which he had done so many times for CSK before! So, it was not Yuvi's fault alone! Also Yuvi faced 2 overs from Narine, even the best cant play him, so plz stop criticising him.

    If AB and Albie cudnt score 10 from 9 balls, are ppl kidding to blame Yuvi! Why is he made a scape goat always! I am not a big Yuvi fan, but anyone with cricket sense will see for themslves wht happened on the field!