April 22, 2018

AB, Kohli mar Mustafiz dream IPL debut

Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen AB De Villiers plays a shot during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday. AFP

AB de Villiers and Shane Watson. Two of the deadliest batsmen in the shortest form of the game named cricket. For any bowler in the world, bagging one of them is certain to be a matter of pride on a given day. But on Tuesday, Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Mustafizur Rahman sent the duo back to the pavillion in consecutive balls. Well, that does tell us what a debut the Bangladesh speedster had in the Indian Premier League.

But that was not enough to stop a star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore from claiming a 45-run victory as two fiery innings from de Villiers and RCB skipper Virat Kohli meant the Bangalore boys won their first match of the 2016 edition in style.

On a day when all the Sunrisers bowlers gave away almost ten runs an over, Mustafiz was the odd one out, conceding only 6.50 on an average. He was also the team’s most successful bowler with two wickets, the same number claimed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but the Bangladesh bowler was very economical than his Indian team-mate.

However, de Villiers and Kohli had already blasted 157 runs in the second wicket, following Chris Gayle’s failure to manage more than one, by the time Mustafiz dealt RCB the double blow.

The South African was in sensational form, smashing seven fours and six sixes to make 82 off 42 balls and it was only because of Mustafiz he failed to reach triple figures, something that looked certain before that over. Kohli was also in a buoyant mood, firing seven fours and three sixes in his 51-ball 75 as he joined his team-mate in slaying the Sunrisers bowlers.

Youngster Sarfaraz Khan then hammered 35 in just 100 balls as Bangalore ended their innings on 227 for 4.

Winning the toss, Sunrisers captain David Warner had opted to bowl first, with a view to chasing the target in a batting paradise. But it was always going to be difficult to chase 228 and although Warner himself powered 58 in just 25 balls thanks to four fours and five sixes, he did not get due support from his team-mates.
Ashish Reddy was the second-highest scorer for the Sunrisers, with 32 off 18 balls as he blasted two fours and three sixes.

But it was not their day, and they can now only look to the next match, hoping that a certain Bangladeshi would keep firing.

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