Royal Challengers stay afloat with win against Daredevils (Lead)

May 20th, 2009 - 1:48 am ICT by IANS  

Ross Taylor Johannesburg, May 20 (IANS) Bangalore Royal Challengers kept their Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-final hopes alive with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over mighty Delhi Daredevils at the New Wanderers stadium here Tuesday.
The win catapulted Royal Challengers, who had four successive loses in the early stages of the tournament, to the fourth spot with 14 points from 13 matches.

Daredevils is the only team to qualify for the the last four stage, with five teams vying for the remaining three spots.

Daredevils, deciding to bat, were restricted to 134 for seven by Praveen Kumar (3-30) and Royal Challengers skipper (2-24) Anil Kumble. Jacques Kallis (58 not out) and Rahul Dravid (38) anchored the chase to take them home with an over to spare.

After losing Robin Uthappa in the first over, Kallis and Dravid joined forces to steady the Bangalore innings. Kallis’s unbeaten 56-ball innings included two fours and as many sixes and he and Dravid added 71 runs for the second wicket.

Royal Challengers were 72 for two wickets when Dravid was caught and bowled by Yogesh Nagar in the 13th over. But Ross Taylor (25 off 12 balls) played yet another blistering albeit brief innings, smashing three sixes and a four, to take the pressure off Kallis.

The Bangalore team needed 23 runs off the last three overs. Kallis hit Daniel Vettori for 14 runs in the 18th over with one six over extra cover and a four off the last ball.

With Royal Challengers needing nine off 12 balls, Mark Boucher struck Ashish Nehra for a four before Kallis took the winning run with a dab to backward point.

Earlier, Daredevils’ formidable batting line-up saw an early collapse by Praveen’s twin strikes in the very first over that sent back out-of-form skipper Virendra Sehwag and Mithun Manhas for ducks.

Gautam Gambhir looked solid but misread a Kallis delivery in the last ball of the sixth over to spoon a catch to Taylor to reduce Delhi to 37-3.

AB de Villiers, who has been the most consistent batsman for Delhi, departed after adding 28 runs.

Dinesh Karthik stitched a 39-run partnership with Nayar down the order to add respectability to the Delhi total.

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