Yuvraj Singh scored a 38-ball 83 for Royal Challengers Bangalore © IANS
By Shrikant Shankar
May 11, 2014
Yuvraj Singh‘s magnificent innings of 83 powered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 190 for five against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on May 11. Yuvraj struck an incredible seven fours and seven sixes in only 38 deliveries. AB de Villiers gave him great support with an innings of 58. De Villiers hit one four and five sixes in 32 deliveries. The duo shared a 132-run partnership for the fourth wicket at a run-rate of 12.18.
All the bowlers came in for some punishment, but Kane Richardson managed to take two wickets. This is Match 35 of IPL 7. Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. Vijay Zol and Ashok Dinda came in for Sachin Rana and Harshal Patel in the Bangalore team. Rajasthan brought in Rahul Tewatia in place of Dhawal Kulkarni.
In a surprising decision, Bangalore captain Kohli opened the batting with Chris Gayle. Australia’s Kane Richardson began proceedings for Rajasthan. He swung the ball both ways in the first over and troubled Kohli throughout. However, Kohli did hit an in-swinging delivery through deep square-leg for a four. But that too was not a convincing shot.
Shane Watson shared the new ball with Richardson. He too started out well as he bowled a testing over to Gayle and Kohli. Richardson continued and he struck by dismissing Kohli for four runs. Kohli played an expansive drive to an away moving delivery and got a top-edge. The ball flew to Ajinkya Rahane at third-man.
Watson also continued to extend his spell. Gayle came down the track and and Watson bowled short reacting to that. But Gayle was quick enough to pull the ball through mid-wicket for his first four. Watson then bowled a length delivery and Zol drove on the up through point for a four. He also got of the mark with that shot. James Faulkner bowled the fifth over. He dug one in short and the left-handed Zol flat-batted it in-between mid-off and extra-cover for another four.
Watson brought leg-spinner Pravin Tambe to bowl the sixth over, before the powerplay overs had finished. Tambe bowled a full delivery down the leg side and Gayle swept the ball behind square on the leg side. The ball raced away to the boundary for a four. Gayle seemed to have tweaked his hamstring after the shot, but two balls later, he came down the track and struck one in the air wide of long-on for a four.
Another leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia then came from the other end. Despite Gayle facing five deliveries in the over, only two runs came from it. Zol then swept Tambe for a four behind square on the leg side. Then Tambe got the big wicket as Gayle was dismissed for 19 off 25 deliveries. Tambe actually a very poor delivery wide on the off side. Gayle tried to cut hard, but edged the ball to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.
Then on the first ball of the ninth over, Tewatia got Zol’s wicket. Zol tentatively pushed at a length delivery and edged the ball to Watson at first-slip. Next batsman Yuvraj Singh got of the mark with a sweep behind square on the leg side for a four.
Yuvraj kept scoring the fours with two sweeps off Tambe in the 10th over. That was a shot both left-handers Gayle and Yuvraj seemed to employ against the leg-spinners. Yuvraj then came down the track and lofted a length delivery high over deep mid-wicket for a six. Faulkner was brought back into the attack to break the seven-over leg-spin period. He bowled a bouncer to test Yuvraj, but the ball was hooked towards long-leg unconvincingly for a single.
Rajat Bhatia was then brought to bowl the 13th over. The first delivery was pulled for a flat six over deep mid-wicket. Yuvraj then got a thick top-edge on the second delivery and it sailed over the short fine-leg fielder. The ball almost went for a six, but bounced inches short and it was a four. Watson bowled a good length delivery in the 14th over and Yuvraj stood tall and drove the ball over straight mid-on for another four.
Watson also tested Yuvraj with a bouncer and it almost fetched his wicket. Yuvraj’s hook just fell short of Richardson at deep square-leg. Tambe was brought back into the attack in the 15th over. Yuvraj danced down the track and played a lofted drive over long-on for his third six. That brought up Bangalore’s 100. Tambe finished with figures with one for 38 runs. Yuvraj got to his half-century with a six over deep mid-wicket. He pulled a short delivery from Richardson.
AB de Villiers also got in on the act with a six off Richardson over deep mid-wicket. Yuvraj’s confidence was oozing as he took an off-stump stance to Watson. The Rajasthan captain seemed to be put off by that and bowled two wides on the off side, before Yuvraj drove a six over long-off. Yuvraj then squeezed a full and wide delivery in-between point and short third-man for a four. De Villiers then smashed back-to-back sixes off Faulkner over deep mid-wicket in the 18th over.
Richardson then bowled a straight delivery in the 19th over and Yuvraj flicked the ball brilliantly over deep square-leg for another six. Yuvraj then hammered a back of a length delivery for a six over long-on. But the entertainment stopped on the last delivery of the 19th over. Richardson struck Yuvraj’s pads from round the wicket and dismissed him LBW for 83 off 38 deliveries.
De Villiers then struck two sixes off Faulkner in the 20th and final over. He too got to his half-century. But he then mishit one to Rahane at deep extra-cover. De Villiers was out for 58 off 32 deliveries. Bangalore posted a total of 190 for five in their 20 overs. They scored a staggering 67 runs in the last four overs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 190 for 5 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 19, AB de Villiers 58, Yuvraj Singh 83; Kane Richardson 2 for 43) vs Rajasthan Royals.
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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)