Challengers humble Warriors

Challengers humble Warriors

Kohli, Gayle sparkle as Bangalore team pockets first home victory in IPL IV

Challengers humble Warriors

A powerful effort with the bat, an outstanding show in the field and a more than adequate display with the ball cut out all escape routes for the beleaguered Pune Warriors as Daniel Vettori’s men surged to the second spot on the points table with nine points from eight games.

Their first home win of the season also completed a hat-trick of victories for the Challengers, who will go into a merited week-long break in an excellent frame of mind. Not for the first time this season, Virat Kohli (67, 42b, 4x4, 4x6) was in the forefront of their charge, snatching not just the man of the match award but also the Orange Cup from Sachin Tendulkar for becoming the highest run-getter (294) this season.

The classy 22-year-old’s third half-century in seven games built brilliantly on the blistering start provided by Chris Gayle (49, 26b, 4x4, 4x6), the Challengers batting with consistent authority and intent throughout their 20 overs to post a commanding 181 for five after being put in by Yuvraj Singh.

The Warriors’ bowling was patchy and indifferent, therefore they needed their batsman, and especially their talismanic captain, to come to the party if they were to arrest a four-match losing streak.

For the duration of his stint, Yuvraj did threaten to single-handedly make a match of it, but the Challengers held both their poise and all the catches that came their way. Once the left-hander fell with 52 needed in 19 deliveries, it was all over bar the shouting, the Warriors finishing on 155 for five and finding themselves on the losing side for the fifth consecutive time.

At no stage of the contest did the Warriors push the Challengers to a corner. Alfonso Thomas and Jerome Taylor did begin promisingly, but once Kamran Khan came on for his first bowl of the competition, Gayle got on the bike and raced away. Twenty came off the left-arm paceman’s first over, a further 17 off his second and even though Tillakaratne Dilshan was largely becalmed, the Challengers were off to a frenetic start. For a while, leggie Rahul Sharma put a brake on the proceedings, firing out Dilshan and Gayle in consecutive overs, but the respite for the Warriors was no more than temporary. Kohli took his time finding his bearings, but once he did so, he unleashed some spectacular strokes.

The shot of the day was a gorgeous off-drive off Jesse Ryder with minimum of effort, the ball singeing turf on its way to the boundary. It was the shot that turned the tide in the Challengers’ favour, Kohli and AB de Villiers providing the thrust during their 66-run (46b) third-wicket stand.

Saurabh Tiwary came and hit a few blows while Kohli kept reiterating the value of classicism, his essay an absolute delight as the Challengers added 63 in the last five, taking 24 off Taylor’s penultimate over.

The hosts also began brilliantly with the ball, Zaheer Khan, S Arvind and Abhimanyu Mithun all working up good pace and keeping the batsmen honest. Ryder rode his luck to make a quick half-century, but with Manish Pandey struggling for timing and Robin Uthappa not coming in until too late in the piece, it was entirely up to Yuvraj to up the ante. The Warriors skipper launched a brilliant assault on Syed Mohammad in the 16th over – the Warriors needed 74 in the last five – but with too much to do in too little a period, Yuvraj, and his team, were always fighting a losing battle.

SCORE BOARD

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
Chris Gayle lbw Rahul 49 (26b, 4x4, 4x6), Tillakaratne Dilshan b Rahul 15 (19b, 2x4), Virat Kohli c Harpreet b Thomas 67 (42b, 4x4, 4x6), AB de Villiers c Rahul b Thomas 26 (20b, 1x4, 1x6), Saurabh Tiwary c Harpreet b Taylor 14 (8b, 1x4, 1x6), Mohammad Kaif (not out) 8 (5b, 1x4), Abhimanyu Mithun (not out) 0 (0b). Extras (B-1, W-1) 2. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 181.
Fall of wickets: 1-57 (Dilshan), 2-74 (Gayle), 3-140 (de Villiers), 4-169 (Kohli), 5-179 (Tiwary).
Bowling: Alfonso Thomas 4-0-23-2, Jerome Taylor 4-0-44-1 (w-1), Kamran Khan 3-0-47-0, Rahul Sharma 4-0-27-2, Mithun Manhas 1-0-9-0, Yuvraj Singh 2-0-10-0, Jesse Ryder 2-0-20-0.
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 40/0; 10: 78/2; 15: 118/2; end of innings: 181/5 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 57/0.

PUNE WARRIORS:
Jesse Ryder c Kaif b Syed 51 (34b, 4x4, 2x6), Tim Paine c Vettori b Arvind 8 (17b), Manish Pandey c Tiwary b Vettori 19 (23b, 2x4), Yuvraj Singh c Syed b Zaheer 41 (23b, 2x4, 3x6), Robin Uthappa (not out) 23 (17b, 3x4, 1x6), Mithun Manhas c Kaif b Gayle 3 (5b), Harpreet Singh (not out) 1 (1b). Extras (LB-4, W-5) 9. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 155.
Fall of wickets: 1-35 (Paine), 2-79 (Ryder), 3-101 (Pandey), 4-131 (Yuvraj), 5-137 (Manhas).

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-33-1 (w-1), S Arvind 4-0-35-1 (w-3), Abhimanyu Mithun 4-0-26-0, Daniel Vettori 4-0-23-1, Chris Gayle 2-0-8-1, Syed Mohammad 2-0-26-1 (w-1).
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 35/0; 10: 63/1; 15: 108/3; end of innings: 155/5 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 42/1.

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