IPL 8: Mandeep magic thwarts Kolkata, rain

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May 2, 2015

Brief Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore 115 for 3 in 9.4 overs (Mandeep 45*, Kohli 34) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 111 for 4 in 10 overs (Russell 45, Uthappa 23) by seven wickets

Mandeep Singh hits out, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2015, Bangalore, May 2, 2015

May 2, 2015

Brief Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore 115 for 3 in 9.4 overs (Mandeep 45*, Kohli 34) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 111 for 4 in 10 overs (Russell 45, Uthappa 23) by seven wickets

Mandeep Singh hits out, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2015, Bangalore, May 2, 2015

Bengaluru, India – Bangalore’s weather has been the envy of the country for the most part, but over the last few days, it has been as moody as a teenager. The days have been unbearably hot, but as the evening approaches, the clouds gather, resulting in fairly strong spells of rain.

It was the case on Saturday (May 2): a heavy downpour breaking out shortly after the toss at the Pepsi IPL 2015 clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, forcing the groundsmen into overdrive and reducing the match to a ten-overs-a-side affair. For what it was worth, in the reduced play that was possible, the crowd got their money’s worth. Eventually, Bangalore won by seven wickets with two balls to spare, with Mandeep Singh proving the hero.

With Kolkata asked to bat, Andre Russell – he who seems to do no wrong these days – hammered a 17-ball 45 that helped Kolkata put up a commanding 111 for 4 in ten overs. In response, Bangalore was given a ballistic start by Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, the two putting on a quick 48 for the opening wicket. But the hero status was reserved for Mandeep – he had a long, lone session in the nets with Allan Donald after the scheduled practice period on the eve of the match and that seemed to pay off as his unbeaten 18-ball 45 under intense pressure helped Bangalore to their first home win of the tournament.

It also helped them move to third spot on the points table, above Kolkata, who have the same points but an inferior net run-rate.

Given Russell’s antics, Bangalore needed a big start, but they found Pat Cummins eons tighter than he was against Chennai, against whom he had leaked 54. In Cummins’ first over, they managed all of four runs, two of which were wides. But they made up for that against Umesh Yadav in the next over, picking 18 runs off it.

Kohli seemed particularly hungry for runs – in Cummins’s next, he audaciously made space for himself and picked a slower ball over the long-on fence. But that isn’t to say Gayle wasn’t. When Brad Hogg was introduced, Gayle made it his duty to embarrass the old man. The first ball was lifted high into the night sky, Gayle going down on one knee to swipe him over midwicket. Hogg tried going short, but Gayle, unperturbed, sent it sailing into a crowd of red at deep midwicket.

However, Hogg had the final say in that personal battle. Gayle tried to flat bat one over long-on, but he didn’t get enough on it and Russell held on, despite toppling over. The fans didn’t mourn the wicket – chants of “ABD-ABD” rang out. Unfortunately, there wasn’t to be an AB de Villiers special as Piyush Chawla sent in a quicker one that de Villiers inside-edged onto stumps. After that ballistic start, Bangalore were 51 for 2.

However, Chawla’s over proved quite costly and could possibly be what won it for Bangalore. It yielded 18 runs, with Mandeep swinging his bat for a couple of fours before Kohli lifted a six over long-on, his ball striking as clean as ever. However, in the next over off Russell, Kohli holed out for a 20-ball 34, mistiming it to the long-on fielder, and the chase got a whole lot interesting.

With two overs to go, Bangalore needed 25 to win. They had David Wiese accompanying Mandeep in the middle. Umesh had the ball. It was a matter of how much leeway he could provide for Russell to defend in the final over, and he ended up providing quite a bit. He varied his length and sent in a couple of yorkers, but went for consecutive fours in the final two balls, Mandeep with a scoop and a fortunate miscue.

Bangalore needed 12 off the final over. There was a single and two in the first two balls, but third was a full delivery – Mandeep, making room for himself launched it over the deep backward point ropes. Russell was on his knees. The next delivery was short, Mandeep swivelled and sent it over backward square leg. Another six. And there was an almighty roar across the stadium. Bangalore had their first win at home.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa started cautiously to put on 33 in four overs. They had just shifted the emphasis to attack when the first wicket fell. Gambhir attempted to clear the infield, but found the vertically-challenged Mandeep leaping and plucking the ball single-handedly from over his head at point. In came Russell, and once again he formed a crucial association with Uthappa, this time for 38.

Aaron bore the brunt of their charge. With 44 on the board after five overs, the sixth over from Aaron yielded 17 runs, and that was down to Russell taking charge. Aaron sent in a short ball, and it was dispatched with disdain over midwicket. Aaron sprayed it outside off, Russell played a blinder, and the edge ended up at the third-man fence. Aaron attempted a similar ball again, and this time, it was sent straight down the ground, despite the connection not being as meaty as Russell would have liked.

Thereafter, it was a gung-ho time. Russell took Yuzvendra Chahal to the cleaners, hitting him for consecutive fours, but Uthappa (23) couldn’t replicate that, his attempt ending up in a skier that was pouched by Dinesh Karthik. Russell carried on, finding the fence twice more against David Wiese before his knock came to an untimely end, a run-out after he attempted a quick single to regain strike from Ryan ten Doeschate.

Ten Doeschate, who had meanwhile scored a quick 12, holed out off Starc in the first ball of the final over, but Kolkata still seemingly put up enough on the board. But against a batting line-up as strong as Bangalore’s, nothing can ever be said to be enough.


Courtesy: Wisden India