Taylor KOs Delhi
Twenty20 matches are usually pulsating, high-octane affairs, and this one lived up to that billing. A Diwali that began with a bomb scare ended in fireworks as Royal Challengers Bangalore, having been eliminated before they took the field, took Delhi Daredevils down with them.
The tone for this emphatic win was set in the field when Anil Kumble and Roelof van der Merwe derailed Delhi. The visitors managed just two boundaries -- one in the 17th, one in the 20th -- in the last ten overs. If ever there was a damning statistic, there you had it.
Bangalore had been sloppy with their fielding -- a catch and two run-outs went begging inside the first seven overs and the outfielding was very sloppy in the last six -- but it was Delhi who were really left to rue catches put down off Ross Taylor in consecutive overs. With a raucous Bangalore crowd cheering his every move, Taylor gave them value for money with a stunning 38-ball 65 that sealed a thumping win and ensured that no IPL team will make it to the semi-finals.
Delhi's innings was not the performance they needed to ensure their progress to the semi-final, but they seemed set to redeem themselves early on. Bangalore lost Manish Pandey to a muscle pull in the second over and Robin Uthappa to a miscued pull lacking muscle in the fourth. Taylor took Glenn McGrath for three fours in his opening over, hitting with customary flair, but found Dirk Nannes short-of-a-length deliveries tougher to negotiate. With Nannes turning in a good spell of 1 for 12 off three, Bangalore were stifled and managed an unsatisfactory 35 from the Powerplay.
At this stage singles were not a major concern for Gautam Gambhir, but he was severely let down by Ashish Nehra, who dropped an easy catch off Taylor, when on 18, at long-off and parried the ball over for six. To rub it in, Rahul Dravid bisected point and gully for four off Amit Mishra and picked up two as Nehra fumbled in the deep.
SCORES IN BRIEF
Royal Challengers Bangalore 139 for 2 (Taylor 65, Dravid 32 not out) beat Delhi Daredevils 138 for 6 (Sehwag 47; Kumble 3-20) by eight wickets.