Being put into to bat on what proved to be a two-paced wicket, the RCB’s innings never seemed headed towards a challenging total. They kept losing wickets at one end while Virat could never get the momentum on the other end. Dropped catches and uninspired bowling once again proved to be the nemesis for RCB who succumbed to their 6th straight defeat.
RCB, playing in the green jersey, had a subdued start, with the scoreboard reading 40/2 at the end of the powerplay. Stoinis, who came after AB, looked out of sorts, and when he fell in the 11th over, the run rate was still hovering around just six runs an over. Moeen Ali did inject some momentum into the innings by hitting three sixes, but what harmed RCB’s chances where the inability of Virat to get much of the strike. When he got out in the 18th over, he had faced just 33 balls and losing two more wickets in the same over meant that RCB had to settle for a below par score of 149.
RCB had a near perfect start to their defense when they got Shikhar out for a golden duck and almost had Shreyas Iyer before his catch was dropped by Parthiv. However, it was only going downhill for the RCB bowlers after that, who kept on leaking runs, much to the dismay of their skipper. RCB did manage to get three quick wickets towards the end but it proved to be too late as DC scampered to a victory.
Virat top scored with a 33 ball 41, while Moeen Ali got to his top score of the season with a quick 32. Southee who was supposed to provide the much-needed balance to RCB’s bowling once again proved expensive. Navdeep Saini, with figures of 4-0-24-2, was the only saving grace for RCB.
Shreyas Iyer won a good toss, and Rabada & Co. never let the RCB batsmen off the hook. In the batting department, it was once again someone from the trio of Shaw, Iyer & Pant, who dug it out. Lamichhane did have an off day, but then he is too good a bowler to repeat such performances.
After seeing the backs of both Parthiv & AB during the powerplay, Rabada, Morris & Axar not just kept things tight but also kept picking up wickets. DC’s success lay in keeping Virat not just quiet but also in keeping him off the strike. Just when it seemed that Virat might provide a final flourish in the 17th over, when he took Lamichhane for two sixers, Rabada put an end to any such speculation by taking three wickets in the 18th over.
Shikhar’s wretched run with the bat continued, this time getting out on a golden duck. Prithvi Shaw once again showed his class by taking Southee for four consecutive boundaries in the third over. However, it was the skipper’s composed innings of 67 that led to DC’s third win of the season who did wobble towards the end by losing three quick wickets before crossing the line.
Rabada, with figures of 4-0-21-4, was once again the best bowler for DC. With 11 wickets, he now has a clear two-wicket lead in the race for the Purple Cap. Shreyas Iyer scored his first fifty of the season and ensured that DC would not falter in a chase this time. DC has now joined four other teams at 6 points in the table, and the race for the playoffs is only going to get more exciting from here.
RCB have hit the rock bottom, there is no denying this fact. Be it the combination or the form of the players, or their inability to execute their plans, they have to sort this out. They have six days to think about this before they set off for three away games from the 13th.
DC must be relieved to get this win under their belt after two successive losses. They too have a five-day gap before they play KKR & SRH in away games, on the 12th and the 14th. Ricky Ponting has already expressed his unhappiness with Shikhar, and Rishabh’s my way or highway approach is also adding to the unpredictability. Despite this win, DC quickly need to sort these issues if they are to lay a claim to a spot in the playoffs.
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