Delhi Daredevils met Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium for the 45th match of IPL 2018. The hosts were already out of the race to the playoffs but RCB were still in with a chance. They kept their hopes alive with what transpired as a comprehensive victory.
Batting first after losing the toss, DD scored 181/4 courtesy of another superb knock from Rishabh Pant and an explosive cameo from Abhishek Sharma. RCB, in reply, suffered 2 early blows but the dream pair of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers was at work and played a clinical role in guiding the side past the line.
Here are the 5 takeaways from the match
#1 Rishabh Pant’s brilliant run of form
One man who has taken the cricketing world by storm of late is Rishabh Pant. Everyone has been in awe of him for his masterful striking and consistency in this year’s league. After his magnificent century in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad went in vain, he didn’t get let down and put up another wonderful show against RCB.
The left-hander walked in to bat at a tough time when his side was reeling at 16/2. Along with the skipper Shreyas Iyer, he constructed a solid partnership of 93 runs. Once again, he took the bowlers to the cleaners and struck 5 fours and sixes on his way to 61 off 34 balls. Unfortunately, he got out in the 13th over otherwise he was headed for another 3-figure score.
#2 Abhishek Sharma’s flourishing cameo
The most eye-catching aspect of this year’s IPL has been the mind-blowing performances of the players from Indian Under-19 side that had won the World Cup recently. The likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi had stood out with their excellent skills and another addition to the list happened in the form of Abhishek Sharma.
The left-hander came out to bat in the 16th over when DD had reached 120/4. They needed to finish on a high to set up a good score against the strong batting line-up of RCB. Abhishek scored 46 from 19 balls that included 3 fours and 4 sixes. What amazed one and all was the ease with which the 17-year-old was clearing the fence consistently.
#3 Sandeep Lamicchane impressed on debut
The talk of the town after the IPL auction earlier this year was the selection of Sandeep Lamichhane. The leg-spinner became the first ever player from Nepal to be picked up by an IPL franchise. He had been warming the benches thus far and finally got a game for DD when all that was left for the franchise in the league was pride.
Iyer threw the ball to the youngster first up and the leggie showcased his full armor of variations. He was rewarded with his first wicket when he trapped Parthiv Patel in front in his 2nd over. Later, he troubled even the likes of AB de Villiers but couldn’t bag any more wickets. But he ended up with figures of 25/1 from 4 overs that must please the fans from the neighboring country.
#4 Virat Kohli’s dominance
RCB needed the win to keep their campaign alive. Not only this game, they need to win all their remaining games to remain in contention for a playoff spot. The RCB skipper Virat Kohli looked like the man on a mission as soon as he came out to bat. The visitors didn’t have a great start as they lost both the openers inside 3 overs.
But Kohli took it upon himself to resurrect the team’s fortunes. He was decisive from the outset in his approach and struck some classy strokes. It was due to his efforts that the hosts were blown away after a good start. The right-hander scored 70 off 40 balls with 4 fours and as many sixes. Amit Mishra accounted for his wicket in the 14th over but the captain had already put his side on the cusp of a victory.
#5 AB’s return to form
One thing that was missing from RCB’s campaign thus far was the belligerence of AB de Villiers. After starting the tournament on a positive note, he had fallen sick and missed a few games in between. Post that, he hadn’t been able to live up to the expectations. But Delhi proved to be the lucky venue as the South African found back his touch.
Initially, he was subdued in his approach and played second fiddle to Kohli who was flourishing at the other end. But Mr. 360 didn’t waste much time to get going. His lusty blows were back and the DD bowlers suffered a beating at his hands. He scored an unbeaten 72 off 37 balls with 4 fours and 6 sixes and cruised his team over the line.
Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and opted to bowl first
Delhi Daredevils: 181/4 in 20 overs
Rishabh Pant 61 (34), Abhishek Sharma 46 (19)
Yuzvendra Chahal 28/2 (4), Moeen Ali 25/1 (4)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 187/5 in 19 overs
AB de Villiers 72* (37), Virat Kohli 70 (40)
Trent Boult 40/2 (4), Sandeep Lamichhane 25/1 (4)
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 5 wickets
Player of the Match: AB de Villiers