Bangalore triumph in the battle of royals
Dilshan, De Villiers smash half-centuries before spinner Appanna snaps up four wickets to sink Rajasthan Royals. Debjeet Kundu reports. Scorecardindia Updated: Apr 24, 2012 12:45 IST
It's always a hearty sight to witness packed stadiums, especially at a time when the craze for cricket has taken a dip in the country. And Jaipur has been one IPL venue where matches have run to full houses on most occasions, with the game between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore being no different.
But on Monday, there was buzz around a different story at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, continuing to fuel the debate whether people were actually buying tickets, or the packed stands were due to the initiatives of the sponsors and owners to advertise the tournament's popularity.
Apparently an official --- or at least posing as one --- from the Royals camp was caught selling complimentary passes at a premium outside the stadium. Called Anirudh, the man was reportedly selling VIP box passes, marked Rs. 20,000, at Rs. 25,000, and the Rs.1200 tickets at a discounted Rs. 700.
Sources told HT that the man, however, was later released by the police as they thought it to "an internal matter for Rajasthan Royals". The Royals, however, termed it a supposed "misunderstanding", adding that the man was merely "handing over" a few tickets to someone.
However, nothing spoiled the action on the pitch from being a cracker. Tilekeratne Dilshan hadn't featured in the first few games for RCB and the only game he got, the Sri Lankan had managed a measly four runs. Dilshan lost no time in heading to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, a few hours drive from Jaipur, as soon the team reached Jaipur.
Sent in with an experimental opening pairing of Virat Kohli, Dilshan made optimum use of the opportunity and batted right through the innings, scoring 76 off 58 balls.
Kohli couldn't fire, and neither could an unfit Chris Gayle, who was sent in at number four. Bangalore looked set to subside for around 150.
That was until AB de Villiers decided to change the mood in his camp. Clobbering five massive sixes, the South African notched up 59 off just 23 deliveries and set the tone for a revenge 46-runs victory away from home.
There's something about the players on either side of 40 in this IPL season. The way Brad Hogg sprinted in jubilation after trapping Gayle plumb in front, it reminded one of Sourav Ganguly's run in Delhi after removing Kevin Pietersen.
Rahul Dravid was the other seasoned player on this night who fought a lone battle for the Royals with his 42-ball 58, as both Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah failed to fire.
Once Dravid gone, the home team could do little and it succumbed to the ever climbing run rate.