Paul Collingwood was an unhappy man at the end of the IPL 2 season. Resigned to warming the bench, he felt like an outcast. Well, he has his chances in IPL 3 and he is showing why it was a waste of time to sit them there in the first place.
The crowd at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium in New Delhi were tentative as the Delhi Daredevils wobbled, then recuperated through a brilliant from England’s Twenty20 captain. While all the fuss was about the likes of Virender Sehwag, David Warner and the Delhi Daredevils captain, Gautam Gambhir, Collingwood could not have announced himself better as he has this season. This then was a build up of the signs he has been showing since featuring in their line up.
Warner and Sehwag did get Delhi off to a start with thirty-three and thirty-six runs respectively. But the Daredevils found themselves in trouble soon enough, losing wickets with a steadiness that suggested a slippery road. And it would not have angered Anil Kumble, the RCB captain, given the danger that the duo posed.
However, Kumble did not count on a few sloppy mistakes in the field and the ferocity of Collingwood’s batting took the Royal Challengers Bangalore by surprise. Collingwood’s seventy-five runs from forty-six balls included many telling blows, seven sixes and three boundaries to be more precise. And in that, Delhi overcame the hiccups to stage a remarkable challenge for the visitors, setting them a target of 185, to the clear displeasure of the RCB captain.
To chase down this mammoth target against the bowling line up of Delhi that included two spinners in Amit Mishra and Daniel Vettori on a slower track was going to need everything in the tank from the RCB dressing room.
Jacques Kallis stood rock solid at the top, compensating for the few sedate innings he has had since his early peak in the IPL 3. However, he kept running out of promising partners from Kevin Pietersen to Robin Uthappa. But perhaps the turning point as far as the RCB were concerned was the wicket of Ross Taylor, who had only joined the team to bolster their batting, thereby weakening their bowling missing the likes of Dale Steyn.
Taylor felt aggrieved at the umpire Billy Bowden’s decision to give him lbw just when he was making a nuisance of himself with three magnanimous sixes. His dismissal for twenty-two runs marked the fourth wicket to fall for 108 in the fifteenth over and the RCB was particularly done and dusted when their last remaining hope, Kallis, fell for a half century scored in vain. Amit Mishra had his three wickets to outshine Vettori while Pradeep Sangwan showed his touch with three against his name as well. The RCB had run themselves out of competition and they fell short by thirty-seven runs to finish high and dry on nine down for 147.
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