More than 50 matches done, 8 teams have fought it out and 4 have emerged on the top. Off the 4, it is Gujarat Lions who topped the table and Royal Challengers Bangalore just behind them on the 2nd spot. As both these teams face each other for the final spot, we expected a cracker of a battle between the two. But what happen further is beyond what words can describe.
VIrat Kohli won the toss and invited the Raina and Co to bat first. Last time both these teams faced each other on the same ground, we witnessed two centurions in a single game i.e. Kohli and de Villiers. The decision of Kohli to field first turned out to be right as Iqbal Abdulla got the wicket of both the openers in 2nd over of the innings. With McCullum and Finch gone, Lions were in trouble and more problem arrived as Raina was dismissed for 1 run too. 3 wickets down for 9 runs and then came the rescuers for GL. Dwayne Smith played a blistering knock and Dinesh Karthik supported him with his steadily paced innings. D Smith scored 73 off 41 balls and rescued his team from another downfall against RCB.
In the end Gujarat Lions managed to score 158 runs in 20 overs by losing all their 10 wickets. Not a good score, atleast when the batsmen of RCB have been in good form in the previous matches.
As the RCBians came in to chase, all were expecting a good show of batting from Gayle and Kohli, but Dhawal Kulkarni had something else in mind. Kulkarni dismissed Kohli in his first over (2nd over of the inning), Gayle and KL Rahul in his 2nd over on consecutive deliveries and Sachin Baby in his 3rd over. Putting RCB on back foot in the first 6 overs itself.
Stuart Binny played an attacking inning to ensure that the pressure doesn’t mount the RCB team. But even he couldn’t last longer as Jadeja dismissed him. But till the time de Villiers was on the crease, RCB still had some hopes, despite being 6 for 68. De Villiers found a good supporting partner in Iqbal Abdulla to pace the innings as before him wickets fell at regular intervals. Together, Abdulla and de Villiers put up a 91 run unbeaten stand to ensure RCB a direct entry to finals. De Villiers top scored with 79 for RCB.
Here’s a look at some of the interesting numbers and stats from this match –
Leading way ahead – With 19 catches in this IPL season, AB de Villiers has taken the most number of catches by a player in any T20 season. Previous best was 14.
First ever dream start – It is the first time in the history of IPL that RCB has reduced their opposition to a total of less than 10 runs and picked up 3 wickets.
Smith doing it again – Dwayne Smith put up a partnership of 85 runs for 4th wicket with Karthik. This is the highest partnership in IPL for 4th wicket after a team has lost 3 wickets for less than 10 runs. Previous best was 72 for DC against CSK, this partnership was D Smith and Rohit Sharma.
Retired but not old – Shane Watson picked up his 2nd 4 wicket haul in T20 Cricket in this match. First was against England in 2010-11.
Wrong time for a duck – The last time Kohli got out for a duck in a T20 match was in 2014 in IPL. He has played 51 T20 innings after that before getting out for a duck in his 52nd. His duck comes in one of the most important games of IPL 2016, a qualifier.
Most wickets in Powerplays in an IPL match – With 4 wickets, Dhawal Kulkarni is joint 2nd highest wicket taker in Powerplay in an IPL match. Ishanth Sharma has taken 5. Shoiam Akhtar, Ajit Chandila and now Kulkarni have 4.
Most sixes in IPL 2016 – AB de Villiers has now gone past Virat Kohli to hit most number of sixes in IPL 2016
2nd highest 7th wicket partnership in IPL – 7th wicket partnership of de Villiers and Abdulla was 91 runs. This is the 2nd highest 7th wicket partnership in the history of IPL.
3rd time in the Final – This is the 3rd time that RCB have made it to the final of IPL. First was in 2009 (lost to DC) and then again 2011 (lost to CSK).