A dream Knight at Eden!
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first on a slightly rainy evening at the Eden Gardens. We made one change to our line-up as Colin de Grandhomme replaced Shakib Al Hasan.
Another blazing start:
Sunil Narine accompanied Gautam Gambhir at the top as the former wasted no time to show his intent. Narine blasted Badree for 18 runs in the first over as he hit three fours and one six. The high run-rate continued for a while with the scoreboard reading 39/0 after 3 overs. While Gambhir was nudging the ball, Narine was playing the big shots. The partnership was finally broken by Mills as the captain edged one to Jadhav. But Narine carried on with Uthappa at the other end as we completed 50 in just 4.1 overs. Binny was introduced into the attack by Kohli and he struck immediately to remove the set-Narine for 34. Uthappa followed as he was out LBW to Badree. The duo of Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan tried to rebuild the innings but Chahal removed Pathan for 8. After 10 overs, the scoreboard read 87/4.
The big slide:
Wickets fell in a jiffy as the spinners worked in tandem for the visitors. Chahal removed Pandey and Grandhomme in the same over to put us in a bigger hole. The duo of Woakes and Suryakumar then applied themselves and played sensibly to keep the scoreboard ticking. The score after 16 overs was 116/6 and soon, Mills broke that partnership with a slower ball. Coulter-Nile and Suryakumar departed in consecutive balls as Negi picked up those two wickets. Now it was a matter of playing out the 20 overs. The two Yadavs, Umesh and Kuldeep, picked singles and doubles but failed to play out the full quote of 20 overs as Kuldeep was bowled by Aravind for 4. RCB needed 132 runs to win in their 20 overs.
RCB falter big at the start:
With a target of just 132 runs to defend, our bowlers had to bend their back and that is what they exactly did! Virat Kohli (0) edged one to second slip to a beautiful out-swinger bowled by Coulter-Nile. Umesh Yadav, bowling from the other end, removed Mandeep Singh for just 1. Things worsened for the visitors with AB de Villiers edging one high off Coulter-Nile to Robin Uthappa. Their scoreboard read 22/3 at the end of 3 overs. Gambhir continued with his pacers and got his reward as Coulter-Nile took another wicket in the form of Kedar Jadhav. Gayle was still there, taking his time, but living dangerously. At the end of 6 overs, they were 39/4 with the West Indian and Binny on the crease.
Pacers complete the job:
The introduction of Chris Woakes further hurt RCB as he got the two batsmen in a span of just 4 balls. With Gayle back in the hut, the team believed, the fans believed! Grandhomme took the ball from the other end and the New Zealand bowler struck on his third ball as Negi was adjudged LBW for just 2. Woakes was running hard and swinging the ball! He got Badree for a duck as their scoreboard read – 48/8 after 9 overs. 58 was the lowest total scored by any team in the IPL and RCB were on the verge of breaking that dubious record. Grandhomme continued and had Mills on the first ball of the 10th over as Kuldeep Yadav took a good running catch. He struck the final nail in the coffin with Yuzvendra Chahal edging one to second slip (Pandey), which resulted Eden Gardens to erupt in joy! RCB were bowled out for just 49 in 9.4 overs. The bowlers came to the party in a big way and won this game with a brilliant performance. The crowd was magnificent and literally played the part of the 12th man! Gautam Gambhir was ecstatic after the brilliant victory and credited the bowlers for a superb effort. Couler-Nile for his figures of 3/21 got the Man of the Match award.