Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Delhi May 14, 2017

RCB end disappointing season with consolation win

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Royal Challengers Bangalore 161 for 6 (Kohli 58, Gayle 48, Cummins 2-21) beat Delhi Daredevils 151 (Pant 45, Harshal 3-43, Avesh 1-23) by 10 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - Delhi Daredevils' young batsmen flounder again

They might have had heady highs and lowly lows in between but Delhi Daredevils ended their season as they began it: let down by their mercurial batsmen after the bowlers kept Royal Challengers Bangalore down to a middling total. In their first fixture, Daredevils failed to chase down 158; here they came short going after 162. On both occasions, Rishabh Pant was left without any support from the other end, out for 45 off 34 in the 17th over. Like in Bangalore, Pawan Negi bowled the last over to take out Daredevil's last hope, Mohammed Shami, who had scored 21 off nine balls.

Winning their first match in their last eight attempts, Royal Challengers managed to get off just three wins, which would the joint second-worst return for any team in any IPL. They did have their usual failings, though. On a pitch that Virat Kohli expected to offer a lot of turn, he and Chris Gayle laid a platform, but both fell for middling strike rates of 128.88 and 126.31. The rest didn't contribute much as Pat Cummins, Zaheer Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem pulled things back.

In response, though, Daredevils' batsmen made more mistakes. Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer got themselves in on a pitch that lived up partially to Kohli's expectations but got themselves out before they could pay the team back for the 22 and 30 balls they faced for a strike rate of 118.18 and 106.67. The soft dismissals left Pant with all to do, which once again proved too much.

The Gayle and Kohli encore, sort of

Given one final chance to entertain, Gayle put on 66 with Kohli for the second wicket. The pitch was not as alarming as Kohli expected it to be, but there were signs of its slowing down. Gayle hit just one boundary in the last 17 balls he faced, and Kohli scored just 17 off the last 15 balls that came his way. Take out the 19 runs he scored off nine balls from his favourite bowler, Amit Mishra, and Kohli scored 39 off 36 balls.

It will also leave Daredevils' tactics to question. Kohli v Mishra has been the second-most one-sided contest in the ten years of IPL, but they still went with Mishra before Shahbaz Nadeem, presumably because of the presence of Gayle. Kohli just loved it, extending his dominance over the veteran legspinner, who has got into the bad habit of firing balls in whenever a batsman starts to attack him.

Nadeem starts the turnaround

Daredevils might have looked to shield Nadeem from Gayle, but the bowler unleashed his legbreaks to keep the left-hand batsman quiet. With the first ball of the 14th over, another legbreak, he got rid of Gayle. This began a slide. Travis Head was run out responding to an optimistic call for a second from Kohli. Kohli himself holed out to Zaheer's bowling. Kedar Jadhav was dopey with his running. Cummins then ended superbly with yorkers as the ball reversed, which points to a dry square as Kohli mentioned earlier.

Negi, the 20th-over fox

Before he got his chance to end with the ball, though, Negi found himself batting in the 20th over. Daredevils gambled, looking for wickets in the earlier overs, and were now left to choose between Corey Anderson and one of the spinners for the last over. They went with Anderson, who bowled a fourth over for the first time this season, and 16 came off it, thanks to three fours hit by Negi.

Daredevils' three amigos

Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer, Daredevils' three main batsmen before Pant's power kicks in, have shown flashes of brilliance, but their final match this season was a reminder that disappointment has been the more dominant feeling with them. Avesh Khan, former Under-19 star and making his T20 debut, surprised Samson with bounce first ball of the chase, but Samson responded with a limp front-foot pull to get out second ball. Nair and Iyer played longer innings, but they hit innocuous-looking deliveries straight to fielders to make it 87 for 3 in the 12th over.

Harshal's highs

Harshal Patel is not a regular for Royal Challengers, but he struck regularly on the night to keep dragging Daredevils back. He had sussed the pitch, and kept banging the ball into the surface with fingers rolled on it. Iyer fell to that followed by a big offbreak to Marlon Samuels first up. Corey Anderson survived the hat-trick ball, but his innings of three off nine made it really difficult for Pant.

Pant didn't give up, though, swatting Harshal for a six first up when he came back for the 17th over, with 49 required off the last four. Harshal, though corrected, himself immediately and bowled three straight slower ones to get rid of Pant.

Shami then swung hard and benefited on a small ground, but Negi gave him no pace to work with and secured the win at his first-class home ground.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • true_point on May 15, 2017, 17:50 GMT

    This IPL has brought great success to less known Indian batsmen and fast and spin bowlers. But I did not understand the logic of Gujarat Lions persisting with opening with Ishant Kishen when they had a proven, devastating successful pair of D. Smith and Brendon McCullum. They had a very thin bowling talent. If you look at the scores of DD batsmen like Pant and Iyer, their hitting has been against the hapless bowling of GL. So they need to have their top four batsmen to set the tone for either setting up totals or chasing totals. With Ishant consuming more balls to get settled, the momentum is lost. Strategically they have given the advantage to the bowling team when you start batting like a test match.

  • Antony_Lucas on May 15, 2017, 10:12 GMT

    Travis Head is not much of a crowd pleaser, too nuggety

  •   Cricinfouser on May 15, 2017, 8:50 GMT

    This win of RCB is a gift from Zaheer Khan & Co. 10 runs in that pitch was not something too big. Why DD played Samuels. He is not a good performer now. They should have given that chance to some Indian batsman who could have made atleast 20-25 runs easily. Samson, S. Iyer, K. Nair all throw their wickets by trying unnecessary shots. Iyer was reprieved in the same over for a similar short and how foolish he is to play that pull shot for the short ball bouncer thrown by Harshad Pate. Rishab Pant is playing absent minded. He is not thinking that he is out of his crease and it was not the first time. Those guys gave away the consolation win to RCB.

  • bbnn on May 15, 2017, 8:25 GMT

    DD should get Manoj Tiwari next year auction and make him captain.He is a good skipper.If D Kok is available then it will be strong team.DKok,Pant,Samson,Shreays,Manoj(c),Karun,Anderson,Morris,Cummins/Rabada,Khaleel,Nadeem will make a good balance team for next year

  • cricfan10044827 on May 15, 2017, 7:26 GMT

    I think people here are forgetting something. Even with the likes of Arvind and Binny, RCB's bowling has been good the entire season, especially the Indian players. The likes of Mills, Watson were pathetic in their bowling. It's their batting which has caused their downfall. Getting bowled for paltry totals and not chasing even 130s. Having said that, the raw pacers to the like of Avesh Khan must have been tried early.

  • cricfan9910943627 on May 15, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    Hope BCCI stick to its decision which they made in 2008 & no player is retained in upcoming auctions.

  • SamWintson92 on May 15, 2017, 7:04 GMT

    For RCB, 1. RCB finally got their combination & balance right with Negi at 8. 2. Where did RCB hide Avesh Khan all the season who can bowl 140+ kph & trouble the batsman ? They continuously played Aravinds & Anikets. 3. RCB should have played Harpreet. 4. Next year with all due respect to Vettori, a change of coach is required. For DD, 1. Carlos should have played for Mishra. 2. Samuels who is inconsistent was a bad purchase. Rather DD should have gone for Mohammad Shahzad or Michael Kilnger or Colin Munro. 3. Next year with all due respect to Dravid & Upton, please don't involve them in making strategies. Same is applied for them for RR. Dravid can continue only as batting coach.

  • PG65 on May 15, 2017, 6:51 GMT

    Two excellent fast bowling talents for India in the future are Mohd Siraj

  • RUNBladeRunner on May 15, 2017, 6:08 GMT

    Rcb missed their chances in this ipl edition and the last one.. next year ipl csk will b back to show rest teams their true place

  • viswa_93 on May 15, 2017, 3:52 GMT

    Delhi always never uses their players , according to their potential. Samuels was not a good replacement. They should have replaced with a good middle order batsman. Samuels is good when he play at no 3 only.

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