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RCB rides on Virat Kohli's assault

Rakesh Rao

Morne Morkel's three for 25 goes in vain as the rest of Daredevils' attack leaks runs

The flamboyant Kohli set the pace by hitting Irfan Pathan for four boundaries in one over

James Hopes, promoted to number three, held the Daredevils innings together

— Photo: S. Subramanian

PUNISHING MOOD:RCB's Virat Kohli waded into the Daredevils bowlers with a 38-ball 56 that set up Royal Challengers Bangalore's chase.

NEW DELHI: Morne Morkel is in a hopeless minority of one. The spearhead of the Delhi Daredevils' otherwise ordinary bowling has bowled his heart out, given breakthroughs even as opposition batsmen have made merry at the expense of his fellow bowlers.

On Tuesday, this South African twice brought Daredevils back into the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore but lack of support from the other end undid all his good work. Eventually, RCB, thanks to Virat Kohli, walked away a deserving winner by three wickets and with three deliveries to spare.

Just when Kohli was threatening to make a mockery of Daredevils' target of 161, Morkel castled Kohli off an inside edge. Kohli's departure, for a 38-ball 56, made it 96 for four and Daredevils may have nursed some hopes of making a match of it.

Again, when the left-handed sixth-wicket pair of Saurabh Tiwary and skipper Daniel Vettori threatened to take it away, Morkel struck twice in one over. And yet again, RCB was let off the hook with the rest unable to stop Syed Mohammad and Vettori from putting the finishing touches.

Unbridled hitting

A one-sided finish looked a possibility when Kohli's unbridled hitting, laced with some silken touches, had firmly set RCB on course. With Chris Gayle looking to make up for a slow start, Daredevils was clearly in danger of being blown away. The whirlwind 82-run second-wicket stand off just 7.2 overs had raised visions of an early finish. Suddenly, the departure of Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kohli, in that order — all in the space of 11 deliveries and 13 runs — gave the Daredevils some hope.

But despite Morkel's lion-hearted effort, the inadequacies of Daredevils attack came to the fore again.

The loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan to the second delivery of the chase, brought in Kohli, the local boy who had not done too well at the Ferozeshah Kotla in the shortest format of the game. The flamboyant Kohli straightaway set the pace by hitting two well-timed off-side boundaries and then, in the next over, slammed Irfan Pathan for four boundaries, including three on the on-side.

Kohli may have missed out on a bigger knock but walked away with the Man of the Match award.

The over-reliance of Daredevils on Virender Sehwag and David Warner stood exposed. The dynamic duo departed within 10 runs of each other to leave the host tottering at 43 for two in the seventh over. Warner was cleaned up by Zaheer Khan and Sehwag, looking dangerous, ran himself out.

Hopes' half-century

If Daredevils still managed to put on 160 runs on the board, it was mainly due to a half-century from James Hopes, another useful contribution from in-form Venugopala Rao and two sixes each in the end-overs by Pathan and Naman Ojha.

Hopes, promoted to number three, held the innings together from the fifth to the 19th over. He scored the first of his seven boundaries off left-arm medium pacer S. Arvind and rest off the slower bowlers.

The calculated assault from Hopes, caught at point off a no-ball from Abhimanyu Mithun when on 43, took the pressure off Venugopal, who looked assured throughout his 21-ball innings.

In fact, all of Venugopal's big hits, a six and two boundaries, came off an over-enthusiastic Mithun. He fell to the guiles of Vettori who beat his intended slog and dislodged the stumps.

The late-use of the long-handle from Pathan and Ojha took the score to 160. However, given the batting-friendly nature of the pitch and the ordinary Delhi attack, another successful run-chase from RCB was never in doubt.

Delhi Daredevils: D. Warner b Zaheer 7 (11b, 1x4), V. Sehwag (run out) 25 (18b, 3x4), J. Hopes c de Villiers b Mithun 54 (43b, 7x4), M. Wade b Mithun 8 (9b), Venugopala Rao b Vettori 24 (21b, 1x6, 2x4), N. Ojha c Zaheer b Arvind 16 (11b, 2x6), I. Pathan (not out) 13 (7b, 2x4), Y. Nagar (not out) 0 (2b), Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-7) 13, Total (for six wkts .in 20 overs) 160.

Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-43, 3-68, 4-115, 5-142, 6-151.

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Zaheer 4-0-27-1, Arvind 4-0-30-1, Vettori 4-0-25-1, Gayle 2-0-20-0, Mithun 4-0-37-2, Syed Mohammad 2-0-17-0.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: C. Gayle c Venugopala b Hopes 26 ( 14b, 1x6, 2x4), T. Dilshan c Ojha b Dinda 0 ( 1b), V. Kohli b Morkel 56 ( 38b,2x6, 8x4), AB de Villiers (run out) 5 ( 2b, 1x4), S. Tiwary c Ojha b Morkel 18 ( 20b, 1x6, 1x4), C. Pujara c Warner b Nagar 7 ( 12b), D. Vettori (not out) 18 ( 19b, 1x6, 1x4), A. Mithun c Yadav b Morkel 0 ( 2b), Syed Mohammad (not out) 13 ( 10b, 2x4); Extras (b-5, lb-4, nb-1, w-8): 18; Total (for seven wickets in 19.3 overs): 161.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-83, 3-95, 4-96, 5-107, 6-139, 7-139.

Delhi Daredevils bowling: Dinda 3.3-0-36-1, Irfan 3-0-26-0, Morne 4-0-25-3, Yadav 4-0-37-0, Hopes 4-0-25-1, Nagar 1-0-3-1 .

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