RCB coast to victory over debutant Kochi

AB de Villiers scored a brilliant half-century

By Jamie Alter

 

Kochi: Apr 9, 2011

 

Daniel Vettori’s first match in a Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit proved to be a success, as he starred with the ball to lead his side to victory over Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Vettori’s figures of one for 17 from fours overs had been crucial in RCB pulling back the home side after a rollicking start and that paved the way for a six-wicket victory. AB de Villiers, one of four players brought down from Delhi to Bangalore during the off-season, kept the run chase in check with an unbeaten half-century.

 

Both captains, at the toss, reckoned 160 was a par score and that is what KTK have got though at one stage 175 seemed on the cards. Batting first, on a deliciously flat pitch, the KTK openers romped along. Brendon McCullum got proceedings going with a powerful slap off Zaheer Khan in the first over before training his sights on Dirk Nannes, who was sent off to the outfield after conceding 16 from his first over.

 

VVS Laxman – so often a calm, controlled batsman, combined his usual elegance with a flurry of belligerent shots; cutting and steering deftly, pulling powerfully and launching two sixes into a raucous crowd. Against spin, he used his wrists to get elevation over the circle rather wonderfully.

 

After Laxman’s cameo of 36, which came about as he tried to force the pace after being tied down by Vettori, in came the Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene and the run rate slowed a touch. Looking to be too clever, McCullum attempted a paddle scoop against Virat Kohli and top-edged a low full toss to short third man. With two wickets in relative succession and Vettori operating with a tidy line, the KTK innings tapered off somewhat.

 

Jayawardene’s first foray down the track resulted in a stumping off Vettori, and with the innings starting to slow down, Hodge opened his shoulders and collected three fours in his 27 before Zaheer castled him. Ravindra Jadeja’s 23 gave the end of the innings some flourish but you got the sense KTC had squandered a strong platform.

 

The partisan Kochi crowd had reason to celebrate early when their local man Sreesanth removed the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan, caught at cover by a diving McCullum, in the second over. Mayank Agarwal and Kohli added a well-paced 41 in 25 deliveries, before Kohli was trapped lbw by his former team-mate R Vinay Kumar. Agarwal continued his merry way, launching Muttiah Muralitharan’s first ball for six and top-edging Vinay for four, while de Villers brilliantly scooped Sreesanth for six.

 

That put RCB in the box seat, but KTK weren’t out of it, and Jadeja returned after an expensive first over to remove Agarwal, driving to long-off. Rather than persist with Sreesanth, Jayawardene turned to Murali who bowled a terrific 11th over, allowing just one run. A five-run 12th over, bowled by Jadeja, left RCB needing 71 from 48 balls. A six to de Villiers off Murali eased the pressure and after another quiet over from Vinay, Tiwary tonked two boundaries off RP Singh.

 

Having got eight overs out of Murali and Jadeja, Jayawardene gave the ball to debutant Raiphi Gomez for what proved a decisive 18th over.  A six by de Villiers was followed by a single, after which Tiwary holed out to extra cover; de Villiers, back on strike, deposited consecutive sixes over long-off and long-on respectively. Twenty20 runs to RCB had sealed the deal, and Asad Pathan completed the win with three fours in four balls.

 

Brief Scores:  KTK 161 for 5 in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 45, VVS Laxman 36; Virat Kohli 1 for 14, Daniel Vettori 1 for 17) lost to RCB 162 for 4 in 18.4 overs (AB de Villiers 54*, Mayank Agarwal 33, Saurabh Tiwary 26; Raiphi Gomez 1 for 20, R Vinay Kumar 1 for 26) by six wickets. 

 

Man of the Match: AB de Villiers


(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. His first book, The History of World Cup Cricket, is out now. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter) 


Pictures © Getty Images

 

 

By Jamie Alter

Kochi: April 9, 2011

Daniel Vettori’s first match in a Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit proved to be a success, as he starred with the ball to lead his side to victory over Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Vettori’s figures of one for 17 from fours overs had been crucial in RCB pulling back the home side after a rollicking start and that paved the way for a six-wicket victory. AB de Villiers, one of four players brought down from Delhi to Bangalore during the off-season, kept the run chase in check with an unbeaten half-century.

Both captains, at the toss, reckoned 160 was a par score and that is what KTK have got though at one stage 175 seemed on the cards. Batting first, on a deliciously flat pitch, the KTK openers romped along. Brendon McCullum got proceedings going with a powerful slap off Zaheer Khan in the first over before training his sights on Dirk Nannes, who was sent off to the outfield after conceding 16 from his first over.

VVS Laxman – so often a calm, controlled batsman, combined his usual elegance with a flurry of belligerent shots; cutting and steering deftly, pulling powerfully and launching two sixes into a raucous crowd. Against spin, he used his wrists to get elevation over the circle rather wonderfully. 

After Laxman’s cameo of 36, which came about as he tried to force the pace after being tied down by Vettori, in came the Kochi captain Mahela Jayawardene and the run rate slowed a touch. Looking to be too clever, McCullum attempted a paddle scoop against Virat Kohli and top-edged a low full toss to short third man. With two wickets in relative succession and Vettori operating with a tidy line, the KTK innings tapered off somewhat.

Jayawardene’s first foray down the track resulted in a stumping off Vettori, and with the innings starting to slow down, Hodge opened his shoulders and collected three fours in his 27 before Zaheer castled him. Ravindra Jadeja’s 23 gave the end of the innings some flourish but you got the sense KTC had squandered a strong platform.

The partisan Kochi crowd had reason to celebrate early when their local man Sreesanth removed the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan, caught at cover by a diving McCullum, in the second over. Mayank Agarwal and Kohli added a well-paced 41 in 25 deliveries, before Kohli was trapped lbw by his former team-mate R Vinay Kumar. Agarwal continued his merry way, launching Muttiah Muralitharan’s first ball for six and top-edging Vinay for four, while de Villers brilliantly scooped Sreesanth for six.

That put RCB in the box seat, but KTK weren’t out of it, and Jadeja returned after an expensive first over to remove Agarwal, driving to long-off. Rather than persist with Sreesanth, Jayawardene turned to Murali who bowled a terrific 11th over, allowing just one run. A five-run 12th over, bowled by Jadeja, left RCB needing 71 from 48 balls. A six to de Villiers off Murali eased the pressure and after another quiet over from Vinay, Tiwary tonked two boundaries off RP Singh.

Having got eight overs out of Murali and Jadeja, Jayawardene gave the ball to debutant Raiphi Gomez for what proved a decisive 18th over.  A six by de Villiers was followed by a single, after which Tiwary holed out to extra cover; de Villiers, back on strike, deposited consecutive sixes over long-off and long-on respectively. Twenty20 runs to RCB had sealed the deal, and Asad Pathan completed the win with three fours in four balls.

 

Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 162 for 4 in 18.4 overs (AB de Villiers 54*, Mayank Agarwal 33, Saurabh Tiwary 26; R Vinay Kumar 1 for 26, Ravindra Jadeja 1 for 28, Sreesanth 1 for 28) beat Kochi Tuskers Kerala (Brendon McCullum 45, VVS Laxman 36, Brad Hodge 27; Daniel Vettori 1 for 17, Virat Kohli 1 for 14, Zaheer Khan 1 for 28).  

(Jamie Alter is a freelance cricket writer, having worked at ESPNcricinfo and All Sports Magazine. His first book, The History of World Cup Cricket, is out now. His twitter feed is @jamie_alter)