Unlike a 5-day test match, a T20 game takes a little over three hours. It is almost like going to a movie and coming out entertained or disappointed. But when Rain washed out the entire game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals, the organizers kept the disappointment level very low by an ingenious variety of music as a huge congregation of cricket lovers at the Eden Gardens finally made peace with themselves and lapped up to the music brought to them on giant screens. In the other match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi, RCB won their second match in a row and Gayle was not the reason. The man who is bringing back the confidence of the Bangalore side is one of 2015 World Cup’s most successful bowler, Mitchel Starc. When RCB suffered a crushing defeat against CSK in Bangalore on April 22, Mitchell Starc had still returned with figures of Starc’s 4-0-24-1 but he went unnoticed because RCB lost the match by a big margin. Since then, however, it is Starc’s bowling that is making the difference. In the match against Rajasthan Royals, Starc had taken 3 wickets beginning with Steve Smith’s and yielded just 22 runs in 4 overs. On Sunday at Delhi, Starc produced another command performance to remove three Delhi batsmen and finished with figures of 4-0-20-3. With Player-of-the-match Varun Aaron complementing nicely from the other end, RCB bowled out JP Duminy’s side for just 95 runs and came back to score the required 96 without breaking sweat. With attention shifting from Gayle to Starc, RCB can look forward to even better show as the long drawn out tournament progresses.
After the 25th IPL match at the Eden Gardens between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals was completely washed out without a ball being bowled, Royal Challengers Bangalore faced Delhi Daredevils at Delhi for the 26th match. Virat Kohli got lucky with the coin toss and he chose to field. DD had a fateful opening as they lost Shreyas Iyer in the first over, when Mitchell Starc continued his great bowling form from the previous two games and trapped Iyer LBW. However, JP Duminy and Mayank Agarwal tried to put DD back on the rails with a 34-run second wicket stand. But once Duminy got out caught behind, the slide began for the Daredevils. Yuvraj fell for just 2 runs to add one count to his string of failures and other batsmen just couldn’t stand up to the RCB bowlers. The only batsman, who offered resistance, was Kedar Jadhav. He hung around for 29 balls and fell as the last DD wicket as the innings folded in 18.2 overs for just 95 runs. It was another bad IPL batting display after KXIP had scored 95 against CSK on Saturday.
Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli came out to chase 96 with all the time in the world and the task of scoring less than 5 runs per over. They settled into a rhythm very soon and went about clouting DD bowlers without undue risks. Having failed in the batting department, the dispirited performance reflected in DD’s bowling. RCB didn’t have to lose a wicket as Gayle scored an unbeaten 62 off 44 balls, while Kohli remained not out for 35 in 23 balls. Both of them scored 6 boundaries but Gayle also plundered 4 sixes. In the end, the 96 run target was overhauled in the 11th over and RCB scored their easiest win this season.
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