IPL 7: Yuvraj Singh's sparkle breaks Royal Challengers Bangalore's losing streak | gocricket.com
 

Yuvraj's sparkle breaks RCB's losing streak

13 May 2014, 2021 hrs IST,  ,  gocricket.com  
Yuvraj's sparkle breaks RCB's losing streak
© IPL
Yuvraj Singh showed imperious form against Delhi Daredevils, scoring 68* off 29 balls.
Yuvraj Singh smashed a 29-ball 68* with the help of nine sixes as Royal Challengers Bangalore (186 for 4) saw off Delhi Daredevils (170 for 7) by 16 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday night. With their fourth win in 10 matches, RCB kept their remote play-off hopes alive, while DD suffered their eighth defeat in 10 matches to keep scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Ever since the World T20 final defeat against Sri Lanka where Yuvraj scored a 21-ball 11, he has been at the centre of criticism with many questioning his batting credentials. In a quest to restore his good name, the left-hander started his IPL campaign on a great note, scoring a match-winning 29-ball 52 against DD in RCB's first match. Despite a great start to the season, Yuvraj all of a sudden waned and so did the fortunes of the team.

However, in the last game against Rajasthan Royals, the left-hander made 83 off 38 balls and took four wickets to show first real signs of his returning to form. On Tuesday, Yuvraj continued from where he had left off against RR, putting DD bowlers to the sword. Against Shane Watson's men, Yuvraj's efforts had gone up the spout but against DD, the team won, erasing the bitterness of the defeat in the last game.

Yuvraj joined AB de Villiers at 93 for 3 in 12.3 overs and showed positive intent straight away, scoring a four off his third ball. The duo had added 132 against RR and looked set to do another similar act. However, de Villiers failed this time losing his stumps to Kaul for 33.

An undeterred Yuvraj hit legspinner Imran Tahir for three consecutive sixes in the 17th over to bring plenty of momentum to the RCB innings. Yuvraj continued his assault, sending Mohammad Shami and Siddarth Kaul over the fence in the 18th and 19th overs respectively. In the last over bowled by Rahul Shukla, Yuvraj showed his most devastating side, hitting four successive sixes. The over yielded 27 runs in all.

Yuvraj also bowled an economical over towards the end - 16th over of the innings - giving away just four runs and hampered DD's momentum a great deal; the visitors needed 68 off 30 balls before Yuvraj's over. He kept the dangerous JP Duminy quiet. Considering the margin of the win and Duminy's 30-ball 48, the over was very important in the context of the game.

Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan also showed some glimmers of his past skills and got rid of Murali Vijay whom DD had brought back for this match in place of Laxmi Ratan Shukla. Hadn't wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel dropped Mayank Agarwal in the third over, Murali's second, the Sri Lankan would've had his second victim in as many overs. Murali, along with Mitchell Starc, who cleaned up Quinton de Kock for six in the second over, ensured there weren't even distant hopes of a win for the visitors.

However, Mayank Agarwal (31), Kevin Pietersen (33), Kedar Jadhav (37) and Duminy combined to make a match of it but Yuvraj's assault with the bat eventually turned out to be difference. Murali returned with 2 for 25, Dinesh Karthik being his second victim.

Earlier, after the match was delayed for 70 minutes due to rain, DD captain Pietersen won the toss and put the hosts in to bat. RCB struggled in the first half of their innings but Yuvraj's extraordinary power-hitting in the next helped the team fetch 71 runs in the last four overs. Yuvraj and Sachin Rana (15) added an unbeaten 79 for the fifth wicket.

Jharkhand fast bowler Shukla got the sought-after breakthrough in the sixth over when he removed Chris Gayle for 22. The West Indian was looking in great touch, manifested by two big sixes off Shami and Duminy, before chopping the ball onto his stumps as he charged down the track.

RCB captain Virat Kohli's lean patch continued as he succumbed to an unnecessary run-out for 10 off the first ball of the eighth over, Shukla again playing a part. The ball from legspinner Tahir took an inside edge in the direction of fine leg where the sturdy fast bowler was keeping vigil; a rocket throw from Shukla reached wicketkeeper de Kock who removed the bails in a flash and Kohli found himself short of crease.

de Villiers joined a cautious Parthiv Patel and both began the repair work. At the start of their partnership, there were only singles and doubles. Things changed for RCB in the 11th over as Patel picked up two boundaries off Tahir. Buoyed by the over, de Villiers took 18 runs off the next over bowled by medium pacer Kaul with the help of two fours and a six.

The 49-run stand was broken by Shami's slower ball in 13th over. The diminutive left-hander got deceived and gave a simple catch to Karthik at point for 29. Thereafter it was all Yuvraj's show.

Brief score: Royal Challengers Bangalore 186 for 4 in 20 overs (Yuvraj 68*; Shami 1/31) beat Delhi Daredevils 170 for 7 in 20 overs (Duminy 48; Muralitharan 2/25) by 16 runs

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