Iyer’s 67 consigns Royal Challengers Bangalore to sixth straight defeat

Delhi Capitals 152 for 6 (Iyer 67, Saini 2-24) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 149 for 8 (Kohli 41, Moeen 32, Rabada 4-21) by 4 wickets. Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped to their sixth straight loss in IPL 2019. They first struggled to 149, and then saw Shreyas Iyer wallop 67 after a costly let-off on a two-paced pitch. This knock helped Delhi Capitals overcome a late wobble to secure a four-wicket win. It was their third win in six games this season.

Virat Kohli managed to face just 33 balls for his 41 despite staying at the crease until the 18th over, before falling to Kagiso Rabada to start a triple-wicket over. This ensured Royal Challengers didn’t get a finishing kick. Tim Southee struck three balls into the chase to give Royal Challengers a spark with the ball. They should have had Iyer off the last ball of his first, but for a costly fumble by Parthiv Patel, who reacted late. Prithvi Shaw took the attack to him in the next over by hitting him for four successive fours and Iyer went on to hit his first half-century of the season to take Capitals to within striking distance. They lost two more wickets to induce some nerves, but Axar Patel finished off the chase by hitting a boundary with seven balls to spare.

Kohli was nearly out to the first ball he faced when Chris Morris got one to rise off a length. The thick edge flew wide of Shikhar Dhawan at slip, but he couldn’t capitalise on the let off and was pinned off strike for much of the next 90 minutes as batsmen came and went. He faced just 33 of 103 RCB’s deliveries during his time at the crease. Parthiv slashed Morris to the third man, where Sandeep Lamichhane took a sharp catch running forward to end the second over. AB de Villiers then became Rabada’s first victim of the day on the last ball of the Powerplay. He miscued a slower delivery to Colin Ingram, who pouched a catch running back from mid-on.

Marcus Stoinis, promoted to No. 4, tried to flat-bat Axar Patel over long-on but couldn’t clear Rahul Tewatia in the 11th. Moeen Ali showed a bit of intent against Lamichhane, charging him for one of three sixes in his 32 off 18 but was then stumped failing to read a googly. Kohli’s strike rate remained under 100 at the start of Lamichhane’s final over in the 17th as he struggled to generate any rhythm from the lack of strike. He swatted Lamichhane twice over the leg side for six but was out soon after to Rabada as Royal Challengers tumbled.

De Villiers wasn’t his only scalp. Rabada, who was later named Player of the Match, returned to start a devastating 18th over. Kohli skied a drive to Iyer at long-on. Two balls later, he had Akshdeep Nath caught behind after he tried to steer a length ball past the wicketkeeper. Only a ball earlier, he managed to dab it wide of the wicketkeeper for a boundary. The over ended with Pawan Negi failing in an attempt to ramp a short ball over Rishabh Pant. This left Royal Challengers on 138 for 7.

Rabada couldn’t seal the deal on what would have been his maiden T20 five-for in the 20th over, but he still only managed to concede just seven runs to complete a sterling spell and ensure the first innings total was well under par. Royal Challengers fluffed four chances in a wretched display against Rajasthan Royals. While the number of let-offs was far fewer here, the quality of the batsman they let off here didn’t help them. Iyer added 63 after being dropped on four as he got a thick edge to Parthiv.

Iyer was squared up as he nicked but Parthiv was flat-footed behind the stumps. Despite covering the necessary ground diving right he shelled a one-handed chance. It was the only life Iyer needed as he went on to compile a 37-ball half-century, including 68 for the second wicket with Prithvi Shaw. By the 15th over, the target was under a run a ball and despite the trio of wickets that fell in a flurry sparked by Shreyas’ dismissal in the 18th, Capitals won convincingly.