Bushrangers ambush Royal Challengers
by Rohit Sakunia

Scorecard:Royal Challengers Bangalore v Victoria
Player:AB McDonald, RS Dravid, MK Pandey, DJ Hussey
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 15th October 2009


It's said that in cricket there is never a good time to concede extras, but could had it been worse for the Bangalore outfit who conceded more than 20 extras on a day they just had 127 to defend. But the extras were not the only thing the Bangalore outfit went wrong in. They batted poorly, bowled without any inspiration and continued to make mistakes on the field.


Overall if there was a better team on the ground, it was the Bushrangers and they finally finished the game with 7 wickets and more than four overs to spare. The Royal Challengers are now almost out of the tournament and though mathematics would still give them a little hope, even the eternal optimist would fear giving them a semblence of a chance.


Chasing a meagre 128 to win, Bushrangers got off to a confident start with both Brad Hodge and Rob Quiney looking very positive from the outset. Kumble started the proceedings but tried a little too hard and gave away 8 runs in his first over. From then on both Hodge and Quiney didn't look back.


Hodge went on to hit Dale Steyn out of the attack after hitting him for a six and a boundary in his second over. The opening duo added 48 runs in less then seven overs and after the start the game was heading just one way. Hodge got out to an indipper from B. Akhil but the run-rate after his fall only increased to Royal Challengers disappointment.


No bowler looked like creating an impression and even the legend Anil Kumble was turning the ball too much for it to do any damage. Runs continued to flow as Dale Steyn was again brought back. The insanity continued as he bowled 5 extras in his first four deliveries. It seemed the number of extras even frustrated Quiney who tried to hit one over mid-off only to find Rahul Dravid there who took a good catch running to his wrong side.


Though Aiden Blizzard fell immediately after, David Hussey and Cameron White finished the game for Bushrangers with Hussey hitting three sixes off Kumble to end the game.


Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble won the toss and opted to bat on a surface that on face value looked dry and full of runs. Victoria, had come into the game with a two point headstart in this phase of the competition picked up the same line-up that lost to Wayamba the other night, while Bangalore suffered a huge setback with the loss of Jacques Kallis due to injury, replaced by Dale Steyn.


In the absence of Kallis, Manish Pandey opened alongside the in-form Robin Uthappa. Uthappa, generally the one to start off the slam-bang business restrained himself as Pandey turned out to be the more belligerent one at the start. The youngster displayed shades of his IPL brilliance as Siddle became his first victim, being carted away for two on-drives followed by a late-cut in his next over.


Runs started to come thick and fast, most of it in boundaries as before Uthappa fell, the Challengers had already scaled 39 runs in 4.4 overs. His wicket and the onset of medium pacers alongside the left-arm spin of Jon Holland revealed the true nature of the track, one on which scores of 180 had been chased earlier in the tournament.


Victoria though know a lot about such tracks having played most of their cricket in the tournament on a Delhi pitch that was sluggish, kept low, played slow and belonged to guys who were patient then the swashbucklers. This time in Bangalore also 180 looked difficult once the leather started to play tricks alongside the pitch.


The solid foundation laid by the openers were wrecked with the introduction of the other two seamers, and the spinner. Clint McKay started the destruction sending back Uthappa after being hit for two boundaries. Pandey then fell of a false short gifting a catch back to Andrew McDonald off a ball that didn't come on quickly. Challengers' another men in form, Virat Kohli holed out in the deep after failing to get the desired distance.


One thing though that remained true about the surface was the bounce on offer. The pitch with the passage of time proved very supportive to spin and slowed down considerably. Jon Holland, looked better than what he would on a good day and kept one end very quiet. McDonald, from the other end dried runs as a total which looked going past 160 easily was restricted way below.


Even Ross Taylor, someone who has proved a headache for opposition captains was caught plumb in front trying to move around the crease. Someone who could have been ideal for such conditions, Rahul Dravid, again stood tall with a decent knock but then fell trying to force the pace.


Slower, cutter deliveries and fall of wickets became the order of the Challenger innings. Such was the impact of the excellent bowling on offer that only 55 runs were scored in the last ten overs.


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