In a match which kept oscillating from end to another, it was Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who retained their composure to emerge on top by 15 runs. 19-year-old Rishabh Pant, who returned to action despite his father passing away recently, played a lone hand even as wickets fell regularly at the other end. However, his heroic 36-ball 57 did not prove to be enough for Delhi Daredevils.
Earlier in the day, the Daredevils got off to the perfect start by dismissing the dangerous Chris Gayle early in the piece. When it looked like the innings was meandering off course, Kedar Jadhav resuscitated their fortunes with a powerful 37-ball 69. Chris Morris picked up three wickets while skipper Zaheer prised out a couple of his own. Eventually, RCB reached what turned out to be a sufficient total of 157.
Let us take a look at how the cricket world reacted to RCB’s victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Delhi Daredevils skipper, Zaheer Khan:
“Eight out of ten times, we would have got this total. We just could not keep the partnerships going. The wicket was very good for batting. We just did not have (enough) partnerships. We were going at a good rate, Pant played well and just needed support at the other end.
“Pant showed a lot of courage, he has undergone personal trauma (and) we are all with him. The wicket was a bit on the drier side and that was one of the reasons (why) 157 was gettable. It is just the beginning of the tournament. We have a good balance of fast bowlers and spinners (going forward).”
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, Shane Watson:
“It was a great win, Kedar did really well. Our score was a bit below par. I think the wicket was slow tonight. We stepped it up from the first game with (both) ball and in the field. You want to turn the momentum around very quickly even if it was only one loss, Kedhar got the momentum going (this time). (When asked about the return of big names Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers) They'll be back for the next game.”
Man of the Match, Kedar Jadhav :
“I'm feeling on top of my game and I'm working on my fitness as well. At the age of 15, I was just clearing 30 yards but I was improvising well. I just watch the ball, keep the options open and react. Even though I look short, I work hard on my fitness in the gym. When two of your top players (Kohli and de Villiers) are not playing, you have to take responsibility. I want to do that for the rest of the tournament too.”
Here are a few more reactions from the cricket fraternity:
Yuvraj Singh praised RCB for their victory and Pant for his courage
Sorry for the loss of your father Rishab Panth still batted really well under pressure tough to deal mentally All credit to @RCBTweets— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 8, 2017
Aakash Chopra heralded Pant for his valiant knock
Isa Guha was impressed by Pant’s determination
Tough time for Risabh Pant. Quite amazing he's out there. Can guarantee that everyone in the cricket family is willing him to win this— Isa Guha (@isaguha) April 8, 2017
Harsha Bhogle predicted a bright future for Pant
He's 20,been performing the last rites for his father & he's come to play a special innings for #DD. Rishabh Pant is going to be some player— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 8, 2017
Mark Butcher noted the correlation between pace and wicket
Sanjay Manjrekar reserved some praise for Shahbaz Nadeem’s economical spell
4 overs for 13 runs and 1 wicket. 'Shaabaash' Nadeem!— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 8, 2017
Lisa Sthalaker registered her admiration for Jadhav’s explosive batting
AB de Villiers took a trip down memory lane to acknowledge Jadhav’s ability
Dean Jones remained unconvinced by Sanju Samson’s catch to dismiss Gayle
Kevin Pietersen was in awe of Gayle’s wagon-wheel in Bengaluru