IPL 6: Heroes of the match – RCB vs SRH
Another scintillating game of cricket was on display at the Chinnaswamy Stadium today. Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 7 wickets to secure a thrilling win. For once, the bowlers took a back-seat as the batsmen set the stands on fire with some incredible power hitting. Chasing a hitherto stiff target of 162 with fire-breathing pacemen Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma at the opposing end, RCB got off to a sparkling flier, had some hiccups and eventually recovered enough to canter to victory. Here’s a look at the Heroes of this game:
Cameron White – Bear Attack (52 runs off 34 balls; 3 *4s, 3 * 6s)
Victoria skipper and former RCB all-rounder Cameron White isn’t nicknamed “Bear” for nothing. Not only did he steady the innings after the dismissals of Parthiv Patel and SRH skipper Kumar Sangakkara, but he also plundered sixes and fours at will – seamer Vinay Kumar bearing the brunt of a calculated assault by White and Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera. These are ominous signs for the other teams in the fray – the Bear is hungry! I see a very strange trend developing here – players who face their former teams usually raise their performance by a notch. It was Brad Hodge last time, and it was Cameron White today.
Thisara Perera – Breezy Cameo (40 runs off 24 balls; 1 * 4s, 4*6s; 1/35 in 3 overs)
This is one irritating customer. Be it against India in the World Cup final or against any other team, Perera continues to be a thorn in the flesh for the opposition. The left-hander smashed 4 sixes en-route to a brilliant cameo of 40, adding 80 runs in 7.1 overs with Cameron White. He is a useful seam option for Sangakkara, and is an athletic fielder as well. Moises Henriques bore some of his wrath as the Sri Lankan tonked him for a 6 and a 4 to push the score past the 100-run mark. With the ball, Perera took out the rampaging Mayank Agarwal with his trademark back-of-length delivery outside off, but was then taken to the cleaners by Virat Kohli; thus spoiling what would have been a fine all-round effort.
RP Singh – Keeping it Simple (3/27 in 4 overs)
Rudra Pratap Singh produced an inspired closing spell despite being hit for a four by Perera. Bowling with pinpoint accuracy, he not only managed to stem the flow of runs towards the end, but also bagged the crucial wickets of Perera and White, and castled young Ashish Reddy to end a fine 4-over spell. If he can maintain this rhythm, he could be eyeing an India comeback soon.
Mayank Agarwal (29 runs off 20 balls; 3 * 4s, 2*6s)
Mayank Agarwal delivered exactly when RCB needed it – a flying start at the top of the order. He started off with a six off Hanuma Vihari, followed by a four off the same bowler to take 12 from the first over. And to top it all off, he even had the guts to dispatch the fiery Ishant Sharma over long leg for another maximum. Despite losing his wicket to Perera, Mayank did enough to ensure that RCB stayed on course with the required run rate. He needs to be a little more consistent though.
Virat Kohli (93 n.o. off 47 balls; 11*4s, 4*6s)
Looks like we have another Captain Cool on our hands here – and yes, he too is a superb finisher! Coming in at the fall of Agarwal’s wicket, the Indian ODI vice-captain played a blinder of an innings to steer his side home. Pace and spin both came alike to him – for me, the highlight of his knock was the six he struck over long on off Cameron White. And, like the original Captain Cool, this Young Turk signed off in style by caressing an Ishant delivery through the covers for four. Confident, aggressive, and highly skilled, Kohli has a mature head on young shoulders and seems to relish the captain’s role.
Batsmen ruled the roost today – a welcome change from low-scoring games we’ve come to see over the past week. RCB should now look to carry this form right throughout the tournament if they are to lay their hands on the coveted IPL trophy that has eluded them in all 5 editions. Battle On!