Jadhav stars in nervy victory

Jadhav stars in nervy victory

Bowlers come to party as Royal Challengers register first win of the season

Jadhav stars in nervy victory

A brilliant counter-attacking knock from Kedar Jadhav and a collective effort from the bowlers fashioned Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils here in their Indian Premier League tie at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday.

Electing to bat first, the hosts were lifted to a decent total of 157 for eight in 20 overs thanks to a scintillating half-century (69, 37b, 5x5, 5x5) by Jadhav.

The Daredevils made a mess of what was an achievable target and ended at 142 for nine to hand the Challengers their first win of the season.

Rishabh Pant (57, 36b, 3x4, 4x6), playing his first game after the demise of his father, threatened to take the game away from RCB with his fighting knock. The left-hander showed great courage to wage a lone battle and essayed an attacking innings.

With Delhi needing 19 in the final over it was all up to Pant but the 19-year-old fell in the first ball, virtually ending his team’s chances of a win. 

After their dismal show in their opening game, the bowlers produced an improved show to script a fine win in what was RCB’s first home game. Billy Stanlake (2/29), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/19), Iqbal Abdulla (2/36) and Pawan Negi (2/3) all got among wickets while Shane Watson and Tymal Mills were brilliant in the death overs.

It was Jadhav’s innings that made the difference for RCB. The right-hander and Stuart Binny joined forces with their team in real trouble at 55/3 in the ninth over.

Following three quiet overs, Jadhav showed first signs of aggression by taking on Amit Mishra in his first over. He welcomed the leg-spinner with a six over long-on and then slammed a flat four past the bowler. The Maharashtra batsman wasn’t done yet and smashed two maximums as RCB collected 24 runs in the over.

In the next over, making full use of his bottom hand, Jadhav flicked one for four off Carlos Brathwaite and struck a straight six to bring up the 50-run stand in just 26 balls.

Delhi pulled things back through Zaheer Khan as the left-arm seamer broke the partnership by sending Binny back to the pavilion.

In the 16th over, Delhi pushed RCB back to the wall by bagging two wickets. A ball after Vishnu Vinod was dismissed run out, Zaheer scalped the most important wicket of Jadhav.

Jadhav’s brilliant knock came to an end when he tried to slog one over Zaheer but failed to get the distance and was caught at long off.

Earlier, RCB’s top order found the going tough against a disciplined Daredevils attack. Pat Cummins and Chris Morris mixed their lengths well and maintained a tight line to deny the hosts a strong start. 

Chris Gayle once again failed to fire and was the first to depart. The Jamaican mis-hit a full toss from Chris Morris and Sanju Samson showed good reflexes to run behind and take a diving catch at mid-off.

Mandeep Singh too fell cheaply and RCB’s hopes of a Watson special were crushed when the right-hander fell to Shahbaz Nadeem. The all-rounder was beaten in the flight and Pant completed a neat stumping.

The RCB’s lower-order struggled to attack in the fag end of the innings but Jadhav’s gem eventually proved to be just enough for the Challengers.