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IPL 2019: Kagiso Rabada, Shreyas Iyer rub it in, Royal Challengers Bangalore lose sixth game in a row

Delhi Capitals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets in their IPL match in Bangalore on Sunday.

cricket Updated: Apr 07, 2019 20:34 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Bangalore
IPL 2019,Kagiso Rabada,Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel, left, Kagiso Rabada, center, and Chris Morris leave the field.(AP)

A night after failing to defend 205, even the staunchest Royal Challengers Bangalore supporter wouldn’t have dared to dream after Delhi Capitals restricted them to 149 here on Sunday.

The result, RCB’s sixth defeat in a row, was on the cards despite the intrigue provided by Shikhar Dhawan’s early dismissal. Prithvi Shaw pierced the field with five consecutive boundaries after Shreyas Iyer was dropped by Parthiv Patel and the crowd at M Chinnaswamy Stadium quickly realised there won’t be a win to make their Ugadi festival (Karnataka New Year) more special.

At one of the smallest grounds in India, this was a bowling effort Delhi Capitals should be proud of, a template for all teams seeking bowling superiority. Ishant Sharma showed immaculate control over his line, Kagiso Rabada was clever in his use of cross-seam deliveries, Axar Patel was slow and flat while Chris Morris was again about variations -- cutters mixed with low full tosses that batsmen found difficult to score off.

READ: Kohli should be given some time off, says Vaughan after RCB’s sixth loss

A total of 42 deliveries -- or seven overs -- were dots, of which 30 were shared by Ishant Sharma, Morris and Rabada. That was good enough to cover for the four sixes conceded by the inexperienced but talented Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. He had his revenge though, accounting for Moeen Ali, who was finally looking good for a breakout innings only to be cut short at 32 off 18 deliveries.

Delhi’s biggest heist though was in keeping Virat Kohli quiet and off strike for the most part of his innings. It was clear he would give himself the sheet anchor’s role while allowing his teammates a free hand at the other hand. Problem is -- and this has been RCB’s story all along -- no one batted long enough. No one apart from Kohli batted for more than 18 deliveries.

Not farming the strike is one reason as AB de Villiers, Ali and then Akshdeep Nath all were guilty of getting carried away after a few balls had connected. Kohli was frustrated by then as Delhi allowed him to face just 27 deliveries till the 15th over. He took out that anger on Lamichhane, muscling two sixes over deep midwicket and square leg. Next time though, Kohli wasn’t lucky, failing to clear the park against Rabada’s cross-seam delivery. RCB still had 17 deliveries left but with their leader gone, the wheels came off.

READ: Dhoni loses cool after back-to-back no balls from Chahar vs KXIP - Watch

The shot selection was questionable as well. When too many batsmen are dismissed going for ramp shots or failed scoops -- illustrated by Mohammed Siraj, who has had a horrible run so far -- it can’t be funny. The asking rate was never good enough to challenge any team here, leave alone one that boasts of Shaw’s talent and the feistiness of Shreyas and Rishabh Pant.

Still, chasing is never one of the stronger pursuits of Delhi Capitals. Their record against RCB wasn’t impressive either, having won just one of the last 14 matches before this. Even though it became a touch comical towards the end when Delhi threw away three wickets in a cluster after applying a fair amount of caution, the final outcome was never in doubt.

First Published: Apr 07, 2019 20:33 IST