Some things don't change at all. Bangalore's batting, for instance. Certain things do. Result for Bangalore, for example.
On Wednesday at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Bangalore put up another hopeless batting performance. Such was their show on an overcast evening that after Rahul Dravid won the toss and opted to bat, they managed just 126 for eight, a pretty low score by T20 standards.
But once again their bowling turned out to be the saving grace. Despite not getting enough support from their batsmen, the bowlers, led by the inimitable Anil Kumble, helped Bangalore post one of their rare victories, beating Chennai by 14 runs. This was Bangalore's third victory of the tournament and the first in six matches.
It should have been another walk in the park for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Chennai. In sight of an eighth win in 12 matches, Chennai finished with 112 for eight.
Thanks to Anil Kumble's inspiring bowling figures of 4-0-14-3 and some good work from Jacques Kallis, who made up for his failure with the bat with figures of 4-0-15-0, Bangalore choked the hosts after their openers Parthiv Patel and Stephen Fleming were almost running away with the match. The two left-handers had added 60 in nine overs.
Chennai lost out in a five-over period — between 10 and 14 — where they could score only 27 runs for the loss of four wickets, two of which were snared by Kumble.
'Jumbo' tied Fleming and Patel down. Operating from the fifth over, his inspiring bowling also influenced Kallis to keep his end tight. Bangalore, in their second set of five overs, gave away only 19 runs besides breaking the opening partnership.
There was precious little the last recognised batsman Suresh Raina could do as he ran out of partners, who found the fielders regularly at the boundary.
Earlier, Chennai bowled and fielded well. South African medium-pacer Albie Morkel (4 for 32) led the disciplined bowling effort.
Bangalore employed their ninth opening combination in their 12th match. The experiment misfired again.
Man of the match in the last game, Shreevats Goswami opened with Jacques Kallis, becoming the ninth Bangalore opener in IPL. He had a good opportunity to back his 52 against Delhi, after South African Jacques Kallis failed again edging Manpreet Gony to Stephen Fleming at first slip in the second over to complete a typical Test match dismissal.
But too anxious to come good for the second time in a row, he caused his own downfall. He snicked Gony to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel and waited for umpire I Sivaram to give him out. Even as the umpire shook his head withholding the appeal, Goswami walked. Here is a true sportsman's spirit but the youngster will learn that saints don't survive in this game that is played the hard way.