RCB smashed Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets at Bangalore on the back of another AB De Villiers special. Six-dot ball-dot ball-four. The math surrounding AB De Villiers’ is easy. Relatively easy, like his batting. When cricket’s Mr. 360 degree exults on the big stage, the margins are very less for bowlers’ survival. For their betterment of health, it’s advisable to not concede easy runs. But can that ever be a reality when the sport’s Superman takes center-stage?
De Villiers massacres Delhi Daredevils
In any normal cricketing contest, a victory by 6 wickets is special. But this was a T20 and RCB thumped Delhi Daredevils by a margin of 6 wickets, including 12 balls to spare. Few T20 outcomes can be as special and so seminal in celebrating a hero’s impact as RCB’s vitriolic snubbing of their opponents. Delhi Daredevils, having succumbed to their third consecutive loss and fourth overall had no answer to curtail the De Villiers show, his bat exquisitely swatting aside every ball as if it were a club being used to swat aside houseflies that were unwelcome and tawdry.
Ordinary bowling by Delhi Daredevils
But a Delhi disaster was always on the cards as their bowlers- Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Harshal Patel- consistently bowled full and wide, waywardly and insincerely in their attempts to challenge De Villiers who, seemed determined to burry Delhi a few feet under the Chinnaswamy as if the tourists had incited the Protean by paying his team a visit in Bangalore. Wasn’t a good idea if you were Gautam Gambhir. It called for a nasty smashing if you were on De Villiers’ RCB side. What resulted in taking RCB to a respectable grade in the 2018 rankings- now placed 5th on the rankings above Mumbai, Delhi and Rajasthan- was its epochal hero, a path-breaker who thudded 90 off just 39.
Powerful tonks over deep square leg region bettered the ones he scooped over fine leg. Both mavericks blunt resulting into sixes. The worst treatment of all was to leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia as the ball, struck monstrously over a pudgy half volley deposited into the stands, covering a distance that could bring Lahore closer to Delhi- 106 meters. But before RCB unleashed their carnage initiated at the hands of its favorite son, for a while it seemed that Bangalore’s swanky evening might just belong to Delhi Daredevils.
Risabh Pant threatened to spoil RCB’s party
In what turned out to be pretty much a Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer powered inning, Bangalore’s visitors announced their arrival by notching up a respectable 174 on the scoreboard. Gambhir’s failure and Jason Roy’s extended ordinary run notwithstanding, the honors belonged to Risabh Pant- who smoked the likes of Chahal, Yadav, Siraj, and Sundar by engraving his name in this edition of the IPL as a rare find. Risabh Pant, a talent whose time, it finally seems, has come mauled RCB’s ordinary bowlers in collecting a very De Villiers’ like 85 off just 48. His elbow pointed to the deep square leg region and his blade often pointed to the extra cover region.
Straight sixes and flattened hits greeted crowds that visibly perplexed at the sight of the commotion- not every day that Delhi smothers Bangalore bowlers- grew wilder in their chants for RCB. It was surprising. It was kind of unreal. And it was very special as Pant and Iyer repaired a top order failure by knitting a 75 run stand of nearly 8 overs. The final five resulting in 69 runs. But all of Pant’s effort would be reduced to a state of nothingness as Delhi’s listless bowlers- not to forget Chris Morris who bowled wide and full to De Villiers’ pads- found themselves being victims of a blazing encounter where it seemed carnal destruction was always going to be the eventual outcome. And so it was.