The hosts, Royal Challengers Bangalore, defeated the Delhi Daredevils by 15 runs in a closely fought encounter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the Bangalore outfit scored 157 in their 20 overs largely due to the efforts of Kedar Jadhav who scored 69 off 37 balls.
In reply, Delhi Daredevils lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short 15 runs. Barring Rishabh Pant’s 57, none of the batsmen could make a huge contribution.
Take a look at the five talking points of the game:
#1 Shane Watson’s astute captaincy
RCB captain Shane Waston and the management of the Royal Challengers Bangalore surprised everybody when they chose to bat first after winning the toss at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Bangalore wicket is known to be a batting paradise and chasing has always been the easier option with the short boundaries and the ball coming onto the ball under lights. The dew factor also makes it difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball and execute their skills.
The think tank of the RCB read the wicket amazingly well as it was a slightly dry surface with the ball holding up a bit at times. It was a touch difficult for the batsmen to time the ball in the second innings which did not make run scoring very easy.
Watson got all his international experience into play as he shuffled his bowlers well who kept picking up wickets at regular intervals to make it difficult for the Delhi Daredevils. The Australian placed attacking fields in order to make early inroads and was helped with some poor shot selection from the Delhi side.
#2 Kedar Jadhav’s onslaught
The little dynamite from Pune is one of the most exciting middle-order batsmen in the country. Having played some brilliant innings for the Indian team against England, Kedar Jadhav has grown in confidence as a batsman and is one of the mainstays in the batting line-up for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.
Coming in at the fall of the second wicket, Jadhav was at his aggressive best as he smashed the bowlers all around the park. With his unusual batting style, he often leaves the opposition bowlers very little choice as he is equally good on both the front and back foot.
He was particularly severe on Amit Mishra as he clobbered him for 24 runs in the 13th over of the innings including two fours and two sixes which resulted in the momentum being shifted in the favour of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Standing deep in his crease, Jadhav targeted the short boundary straight behind the bowler and launched the mighty hits over long on and long off. Although the bulk of his runs have come down the ground, the highlight of innings was the shot he executed against Carlos Brathwaite for a six over extra covers. The ball angled towards his pad, Jadhav gave himself a bit of room to and stroked it over extra covers for a maximum.
He scored a quick-fire 69 off 37 balls with five fours and five sixes to help his team reach a substantial total of 157 runs.
#3 Amit Mishra’s bad outing
The leg spinner would want to erase this match from his memory as quickly as possible. He has surely not started the tournament on a great note as he was taken apart by Kedar Jadhav for 24 runs in one over. Bowling it full under the swinging arc of the batsman, Mishra was smashed for two sixes and two fours in that over.
To make things worse, he couldn't contribute much with the bat as well. He came into bat at number nine with Delhi needing 33 runs in 22 balls. He failed to pick up singles and give Rishabh Pant the strike, who was set on the other end. The 19th over of the innings just went for two runs as Mishra wasted four crucial balls trying to go for the big glory shot.
Lack of application with the bat and game awareness from such a senior cricketer was not a great sight for Delhi Daredevils fans.
#4 Inexperienced batting line up of the Delhi team
Delhi Daredevils will surely miss the experience of JP Duminy in the middle order in this year’s IPL. The South African was one of the mainstays in the batting line up of the Daredevils and his experience would have been crucial in chasing a tricky score of 158.
The young players in the Delhi team failed to capitalise on the starts and convert them into a huge score. Most of them were guilty of playing rash strokes after being set and letting the team down.
None of them, except Rishabh Pant, applied themselves on the field resulting in their downfall. While Karun Nair missed a straight delivery from Billy Stanlake, Sanju Samson played a needless pull shot to throw away his wicket. The inexperience in the middle order came to haunt them as they made a mess of the target by losing wickets at regular intervals.
Batting has been a weak link for the Delhi outfit for the past couple of seasons and they will have to do something special to turn things around this year.
#5 Rishabh Pant’s heroics
The young batting sensation from Delhi probably played the toughest match of his cricketing career. Pant suffered a personal tragedy as he lost his father just days before this opening game. He did not let his personal loss affect his team as he returned to join the squad before the game.
Chasing a tricky target of 158 runs, Pant scored a well crafted 57 in 36 balls and almost took the Delhi Daredevils over the line single-handedly. He started the tenth edition of the IPL in a commanding fashion as he smashed Iqbal Abdulla for a six off the very first ball he faced. Although he kept running out of partners, his sheer grit and determination to perform kept the Daredevils in the hunt throughout the chase.
It is quite commendable for somebody of just 19 years of age to possess such exemplary temperament and turn up for his franchise immediately after his father’s demise.