Yuvi blitz studs RCB victory

Yuvi blitz studs RCB victory

Left-hander hammers superb unbeaten 68 as Bangalore taste success again

Yuvi blitz studs RCB victory

On song, Yuvraj Singh is a gusher of brilliance. The left-hander produced a shining gem befitting his exceptional gifts, helping Royal Challengers Bangalore to register a 16-run win over Delhi Daredevils at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

Yuvraj’s unbeaten 68 off 29 balls was the reason behind Royal Challengers’ strong total of 186 for four and Delhi Daredevils, despite a determined effort, could only end at 170 for seven.

There were innumerable rain delays before the match eventually began at 9.10 pm, an hour and 10 minutes past the scheduled time. The delayed start seemed to have an underwhelming effect on Royal Challengers’ innings. They hobbled around for the initial eight overs, losing the wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli for nothing substantial. However, AB de Villiers and Parthiv Patel knitted together a brisk stand of 49 off 26 balls to provide the much-needed momentum, and also the foundation for their total.

Quick dismissals of De Villiers, castled by Siddharth Kaul, and Parthiv Patel, caught by Dinesh Karthik off Mohammad Shami, did threaten to derail the Royal Challengers’ innings. But Yuvraj produced an innings of substance for the second match in a row, his knock featuring a four and nine sixes.
Twice Yuvraj hit hat-trick of sixes – once each against leg-spinner Imran Tahir and pacer Rahul Shukla – to take the game away from the Daredevils.

It was not just mindless slogging. Yuvraj’s hitting on a humid night carried all the beauty we generally tend to associate with a left-hander, and ironically the loveliness stemmed from a cold, calculative mind. Yuvraj picked the bowlers for punishment with perfection. Tahir’s length allowed him the space to use those long hands with telling effect.

Daredevils’ skipper Kevin Pietersen gave the ball to inexperienced Rahul Shukla, who had earlier dismissed Gayle, and Yuvraj was more than happy to exploit the nervousness of a newcomer.

Shukla didn’t have much clue on how to restrain a Yuvraj in full flow, and the southpaw biffed him for four sixes in the final over. Yuvraj milked 79 runs in the last six overs with Sachin Rana.

Delhi have been struggling in this edition of the IPL right from the beginning and are now all but out of contention for a berth in the play-offs. But they still are a dangerous outfit, very much capable of playing the role of party spoilers.

They have some fine hitters like Jean-Paul Duminy, Dinesh Karthik and Mayank Agarwal, and that phenomenal batsman – Kevin Pietersen. But successive defeats had left their minds brimming with doubts and it reflected in the running between the wickets in the initial few overs – laced with confusion.

They also had to deal with a severe jolt in the first over itself as legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, playing his second match of IPL VII, dismissed opener Murali Vijay, trapping him plumb in front. Soon, Mitchell Starc, the most impressive of Royal Challengers bowlers thus far, breached the defence of Quinton de Kock to reduce Daredevils to 10 for two inside the first two overs.

The visitors might have entertained some hopes of notching up a rare win, considering the flat Chinnaswamy pitch and short boundaries. On several moments, Pietersen, Duminy and Kedar Jadhav seemed to be inflicting another heartbreak on Royal Challengers. But on this night there was none.

Many times, the giant screen flashed Yuvraj’s face, mirroring emotions ranging from despair to anger. But the final image was of him smiling, and why not?