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Bangalore drop the match in Chennai

AB de Villiers' counter not enough to outdo Michael Hussey's knock. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports. Scorecard

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2011 02:54 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

It's the 17th over of the innings. Royal Challengers Bangalore need 61 off 24 balls. Chennai Super Kings off-spinner Suraj Randiv bowls a full toss to AB de Villiers, who hits a screaming drive. It has four written on it, but R Ashwin races to his left, dives full length, makes a clean collection and returns. He has saved two runs.

Two balls later, Cheteshwar Pujara mishits high into the night sky. The ball is falling in no-man's land. Murali Vijay charges full tilt from long on; it looks improbable even when he opens his arms, but to the delight of the home supporters, he pulls off a breathtaking catch.

RCB needed almost three runs per ball at that stage and were allowed five off six balls. This, in a nutshell, was the difference between the two sides in the Indian Premier League game at the Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

The Royal Challengers paid the price for their profligacy in the field. The 21-run margin of defeat will serve as a painful reminder to the team of their untidy show.

The death knell for RCB was sounded when their batting mainstay Virat Kohli was caught at wide long on for 35 in the 11th over, but actually they seemed to have lost the plot during the first half of the game itself.

The game's top-scorer Mike Hussey was dropped on eight, and he went on to score 83 not out off 56 balls (11 fours, one six). The RCB bowlers had made the CSK openers struggle for every run. The culprit was substitute Mohammad Kaif and the bowler to suffer was Johan Van der Wath.

Hussey's opening partner Murali Vijay rubbed it in by hitting the South African bowler for two fours and a six to make it a 15-run over (the fifth of the innings).

Still, CSK were 126 for two in 15 overs and were desperate for a strong final push. Part-time bowler Virat Kohli conceded three singles from his first three balls in the 16th over but Hussey couldn't believe his luck when his coverdrive next up was let through his hands by Asad Pathan.

The fielder spilled another miscued hit from Hussey the next over, Van der Wath suffering again.