Rampaul steers RCB to super over win over Delhi

Ravi Rampaul: Keeping his nerve

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Bangalore:  A match within a match.

Ravi Rampaul kept his wits with both the bat and the ball to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Delhi Daredevils in a super over at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Bangalore sent Chris Gayle and Abraham de Villiers for the six-ball tie-breaker, and the former overcame a slow start to hit two sixes off the last two balls from Umesh Yadav . Delhi needed 16 runs to win. David Warner and Ben Rohrer came out for the mini chase. Ravi Rampaul began practicing his run up with RCB bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and Virat Kohli describing the field that would be set for him.

He began well.

David Warner was caught by Chris Gayle at point off the very first ball. Irfan Pathan walked in, made room and polished off a four to the square leg fence.  A dot ball later, he walked across to lift a ball over his head to the backward square leg fence. He could only manage a single next, and it came down to five runs from the final ball, with Rohrer on strike.

Rampaul sent the left-hander’s off-stump for a walk, and began his celebratory run. It wouldn’t have come to all this, if RCB hadn’t messed up their chase.

This is how the second inning started. Ashish Nehra had enough reason to be peeved, when umpire Vineet Kulkarni turned down what was a plumb leg-before-wicket decision against KL Rahul. The opener rubbed it in by hitting two fours off Nehra in a subsequent over, before the left-armer had the last laugh. Rahul caught by Jayawardene. The team from India’s capital, then silenced the crowd, by dismissing Chris Gayle, with Morkel having the big man caught by Umesh Yadav at third man.

This brought Virat Kohli and Abraham de Villiers to the crease, and the two put together 103 runs for the third wicket, to put Bangalore on track. Morne Morkel ran de Villiers out, and one ball later, McDonald followed for a duck, with bowler Shahbaz Nadeem putting his hands around the ball.

Delhi would get back into the game.

With 23 needed from 18, Bangalore started to panic. Arun Karthik was forced to take a third run, when he wasn’t interested, and Morkel had no trouble dislodging the stumps. Virat Kohli being Virat Kohli, made his displeasure public. Two balls later, Syed Mohammad fell to Umesh Yadav while trying to clear long on. But that wasn’t the wicket that made jaws drop.

Virat Kohli was caught by opposite number Mahela Jayawardene at extra cover. 12 needed from 6. It came down to a contest between two left-handers- Ravi Rampaul and Irfan Pathan in the final over.

The West Indian hit a six, traded strike with Vinay Kumar, came back on strike to bring it down to two from two. He managed a single to send the match into a super over. It can be said that he tied and won the match for the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.

Earlier, RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first. Virender Sehwag and David Warner treated Ravi Rampaul with respect, but not R.P Singh. The left-armer paid the price for being erratic, and was taken for 15 runs off the second over. First change Jaydev Unadkat too wasn’t spared, with Sehwag smashing him for three fours. This prompted Kohli to try Vinay Kumar, and the move paid off, with Warner hitting the ball straight into the bowler’s hands as he was completing his follow through. 

Sehwag followed suit, flicking the ball straight into Kohli’s hands at mid-wicket. Delhi 43/2.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the man Delhi wanted in the middle, but the Lankan had some trouble putting his feet on the accelerator. Young Manprit Juneja (17) and Aussie Ben Rohrer (14), hung around for a bit, but succumbed while going for their shots. Bangalore did well to keep things tight, while new batsman Kedar Jadhav joined his skipper in the middle.

Little did he know, that he would vicariously be responsible for his captain’s freak dismissal. Jadhav hit the ball down the ground, only to find the ball hitting bowler Vinay Kumar on his foot, before hitting the stumps.  Jadhav then hit a six that hit a cheerleader. The 28-year old from Maharashtra was clearly responsible for some unintentional accidents both on and off the field.

Some lusty hitting from Irfan Pathan in the final over powered Delhi to 152/5. But as this game showed, nothing can be taken for granted.