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Sunday, October 18, 2009

IPL teams blown away

For the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Saturday's match against Delhi Daredevils was a dead rubber. However, Anil Kumble & Co. lit up the Diwali evening with a superb eight-wicket victory against Gautam Gambhir's boys. What this means is there will be no IPL team in the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20.

Defending IPL champs Deccan Chargers were knocked out earlier in the tournament. The other two teams of League B -- Victoria Bushrangers and Cape Cobras -- are through to the last-four stage.

Taylor played a spectacular innings of 65 runs consuming just 38 balls including six boundaries and four sixes to pave the way for an RCB victory. But it was birthday boy Kumble who laid the foundation for his team with a phenomenal spell of 3 for 20 to restrict Delhi to 138 for six.

Chasing 139, RCB began slowly but steadily. Though openers Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey -- who retired hurt with the scoreboard reading 7 for no loss -- failed to make a mark, the evergreen Rahul Dravid and Taylor stitched together a crucial match-winning 93-run stand.

Taylor was dismissed with 31 still required but Dravid ensured there were no more hiccups. The veteran remained unbeaten on 32 finished off the game with a huge six over long-off. Virat Kohli, who replaced Taylor, starred with a 10-ball 24 studded with five spanking boundaries. Asked to bat, the Daredevils looked like they would breach the 180-run mark with ease. Openers Virender Sehwag and Gambhir got off to a flier.

Sehwag, in particular, was in devastating form as he sent the fielders on a leather-hunt during his knock of 47. However, Dale Steyn put the brakes on the flow of runs when he had Gambhir caught behind for 11. Sehwag continued his onslaught and looked good for his CL T20 second half-century. His stay at the wicket, was however, cut short when he holed out to Pandey at long-off. Viru's blistering knock came off just 29 balls including six boundaries and a six.

With both the openers gone and Kumble getting into action, things were about to turn from bad to worse for the Daredevils. In his very first over, Kumble got rid of Dinesh Karthik. In his next over, he had Tillakaratne Dilshan caught and bowled. The veteran leggie then dismissed Owais Shah, but more importantly, Van der Merwe and he put the brakes on the scoring rate. The two gave away just 40 runs in eight overs. A late burst by Manoj Tiwary and Rajat Bhatia helped Delhi post a total of 138 for six.

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