Defending champions bite the dust against inspired Royal Challengers
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Defending champions bite the dust against inspired Royal Challengers

Bangalore Royal Challengers stunned title-holders Rajasthan Royals, defeating them by 75 runs in the second match of the IPL T20 held in Cape Town. Chasing a target of 134, Rajasthan Royals were bowled out in 15.1 overs for 58 runs, which was the lowest score in the IPL, reports Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Apr 19, 2009 12:10 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times

If T20 is a game for youngsters, on Saturday was an aberration. Making the biggest statements on Day I of IPL II were two stalwarts who aren't a part of India's T20 plans. The other one had quit international cricket even before T20 had captured the imagination of the world.

After Sachin Tendulkar achieved the rare feat of carrying his bat through the innings in this format in the first match, Rahul Dravid and Shane Warne came up with contrasting efforts of substance bordering more on the conventional virtues of the game in the second. Dravid's work turned out to be more fruitful in the end.

It was one of those exceptional days when slam and bang was not the name of the game. With Warne first finding the right men for the right moments from undistinguished names and then weaving his own old magic with flight, zip and turn it seemed as if his team had done the job. Dravid's belligerence was in danger of going to a lost cause.

But the Rajasthan Royals lost too many early wickets and for once, Warne's knack for finding the men for moments deserted him.

After last year's nightmarish campaign, the Bangalore Royal Challengers got off to an encouraging start to complete the circle on the opening day, when both finalists of last year tasted defeats.

It looked unlikely when Dimitri Mascarenhas dealt the Royal Challengers early blows and their skipper Kevin Pietersen fell after a promising start.

The Rock then showed he can live up to that name in a version of the game to which is not cut out for, according to almost everybody. He played the difficult shots without making them look difficult and sent a message or two to the team owner about the mistakes he had made last year by humiliating him.

Suprise of surprises, veteran Anil Kumble saved the best for last ending with a five-wicket haul.

First Published: Apr 18, 2009 20:27 IST