AB de Villiers of RCB plays a shot against Delhi Capitals during their IPL match. Courtesy: Twitter
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) survived an onslaught from Delhi Capitals (DC) batsman Shimron Hetmyer (53 not out off 25 balls) as they won Tuesday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match by one run.
This was RCB’s fifth win in six matches and put them back on top of the points table after a huge loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their previous match had displaced them from the top spot.
DC, who are third after their second loss in six games, had their backs to the wall at 92 for four in 12.4 overs. However, Hetmyer turned it on and added 78 runs in 44 balls with skipper Rishabh Pant (58 not out off 48 balls) to take the team within striking distance of victory.
Needing 46 from 18 balls, Hetmyer scored 20 out of 21 runs in the 17th over bowled by Kyle Jamieson (who bowled the 18th) to bring the equation down to 25 off two overs. Harshal Patel conceded 11 and Mohammed Siraj conceded 12 to win the game for RCB.
Siraj began the last over well, bowling a couple of yorkers to Pant. However, he conceded two boundaries on the last two balls. That left DC still one run short.
Earlier, India pace bowler Ishant Sharma took one for 26 in his first match of the season for DC but it was AB de Villiers (75 not out) who drove RCB to 171/5.
De Villiers’s unbeaten 75 came off 42 deliveries and comprised three fours and five sixes as he took 23 runs (including one wide) in the last over of the match bowled by Marcus Stoinis.
DC had done well to pick two early wickets, removing both Devdutt Padikkal (17) and skipper Virat Kohli (12) inside the powerplay.
While Padikkal was bowled by Sharma, Kohli was bowled by Avesh.
Glenn Maxwell (25) fell soon after, leaving RCB at 60 for three.
However, de Villiers shared a 54-run partnership with No. 3 Rajat Patidar (31 off 22 balls) and took the charge to the opposition in the end overs.
RCB were looking like they would struggle to get past 160 at 124/4 in 16 overs. But the last four overs produced 47 runs.
Delhi rued the 23 runs conceded in the last over to Bangalore by Australian pace bowling all-rounder Stoinis.
Even with leg-spinner Amit Mishra having one over left in the bank, DC skipper Rishabh Pant gave the final over to Stoinis who conceded three sixes and a four in the last over.
“Obviously feeling disappointed, especially when you are on the losing side. They got 10-15 runs extra on this wicket,” said Pant after the match before adding that he had to go for Stoinis in the last over since the spinners weren’t getting much help.
“We counted the overs really well but in the end the spinners didn’t get the help we thought they would, that’s why I went with Stoinis for the last over,” added Pant.
Delhi’s Hetmyer brought the team close to victory with a quick-fire half-century, hitting four sixes and two fours.
“Hetty played a brilliant innings. Because of him we got close to the target. In the last over, we were thinking whoever gets the ball has to finish the job for the team. In the end we were one run short.”
Delhi will host its first match of the IPL mon Wednesday amid skyrocketing Covid-19 cases and during complete lockdown in the national Capital where patients are gasping due to shortage of oxygen and dying due to lack of beds in hospitals.
On Monday, Delhi reported over 20,000 new Covid cases and 380 deaths.
The situation vis-a-vis oxygen supply is so grave in the city that the Delhi High Court on Tuesday told the state government that it is unable to manage oxygen cylinders for patients, the court would ask the Central government to managing oxygen supply.
The question gaining currency is: Is it fair to organise IPL matches when the country is virtually crippled due to the pandemic? But so far, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has insisted that the matches would go ahead as scheduled.