RCB high on spirits; defeat Chennai by 36 runs | cricket | Hindustan Times
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RCB high on spirits; defeat Chennai by 36 runs

Robin Uthappa cracked a dazzling half-century, while R Vinay Kumar scalped four wickets to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Chennai Super Kings by 36 runs in their Indian Premier League match in Bangalore on Tuesday. Anand Vasu reports. Watch video

cricket Updated: Mar 24, 2010 02:23 IST
Anand Vasu

Between skipper Anil Kumble and coach Ray Jennings, the Royal Challengers have probably the most demanding management team in the business. Kumble never gives less than 100 per cent and won't settle for any less from his team. Jennings came to Bangalore with a reputation as a hard nut, and nothing has happened to suggest he’s changed. This is showing in the results. Watch video

The Super Kings brought serious firepower to bear on the Royal Challengers at their fortress and the home side had answers on every occasion.

L. Balaji managed what no bowler has in the IPL so far, slanting a ball in to beat Jacques Kallis’ walking flick to peg back the middle stump. Rahul Dravid, in at No. 3, swished, reached out, jabbed and finally failed to make contact attempting to cut off his stumps. At the halfway mark, Bangalore had three in the hut and only 67 on the board.

Even consolidation seemed beyond the hosts as Robin Uthappa looked anything but his cocky self at the crease and Virat Kohli seemed stuck in two minds whether to attack or not. Chennai's slow bowlers chipped away, and when the 18th over began, Bangalore had just 119. What happened showed just why this Bangalore team are going be the one to beat as the tournament gathers steam.

Uthappa, who had got into the groove with a cover drive drilled so sweetly into the gap that you had to look twice to ensure there were no burn marks on the turf, took 24 off the 19th over bowled by Balaji. The sequence of 4, 6, 6, 6, 1, 1, of which one hit was so brutal that it cleared even the roof of the stands over long-on and left the premises, capped off a run where 52 runs came off only 18 balls. Uthappa racked up a staggering 39 from the last 10 balls he faced, ending on 68 not out from only 38 balls, pushing Bangalore to a healthy 171 for 5.

The blood rush that Uthappa's finish brought about drained as Hayden began his brand of butchery after a sluggish start. Just when he began to push on, an under-arm direct hit from Dravid inside the ring on the off side found Hayden short. Having seen the back of the big man and his small bat, with four Kumble overs costing only 15, the game was in the bag.