Challengers, Royals split points

Persistent rain forces abandonment of match, RCB face Knight Riders next

Challengers, Royals split points

Sitting at the foot of the points table, the Bangalore side was keen to grab the crucial two points for a win and be in race for a slot in the knockouts of the season four of the Indian Premier League.

The unrelenting rain, however, had a final say as their fifth match against fellow strugglers Rajasthan Royals was called off without a ball being bowled. As a result, both the teams were awarded a point each, an outcome neither team would be happy with.

This is only the fourth instance in four seasons of the T20 league that a match has been abandoned due to rain. The encounter between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders was the first one to be affected by nature’s fury in the opening edition while the clashes between Mumbai Indians and Royals and Chennai Super Kings and KKR had been marred by rain when the event was held in South Africa.
        
The one consolation though for RCB was that they could move one spot up at ninth with three points while Royals, with five points, made a massive jump to occupy the second spot behind leaders KKR.    

Umpires Rudy Koertzen and Billy Doctrove inspected the ground twice at 9.00 pm and 9.45 pm and bored television anchors broke into a brief impromptu jig. After the second inspection, the match officials decided to have a 12-overs-a-side match at 10.30 pm and there was a huge roar from an expectant crowd as the news was flashed on the big screen. Much to their chagrin, a steady trickle began once again and the covers were on soon. And it wasn’t long before the umpires decided to put an end to the drama. 
 
Earlier, persistent rain that alternated between a steady drizzle and heavy showers delayed only the inevitable. The die-hard fans, who throng the stands without fail for every match, braved the wet spell and their enthusiasm never flagged despite the elements playing spoilsport. They cheered for the Royal Challengers and indulged in a warm round of applause when Venkatesh Prasad, part of the RCB coaching staff, walked into inspect the covered centre-square.

Later all eyes were on local hero Rahul Dravid, who is now part of the Rajasthan Royals squad. Dravid had a lengthy chat with his skipper Shane Warne along with Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori.

The lone moment of excitement at that time was when a few organisers distributed free RCB flags and placards to eager fans who ran across tumbling chairs to grab the goodies.

The ground staff continued their unstinted efforts to dry the turf though an inadvertent flip of the covers led to some water trickling out near the bowlers’ run-up at the Pavilion End. In the end, all the efforts to get the match started went in vain and the decision to start the game at 10.30 came to nought as the skies opened up with a vengeance once again.

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