Royal Challengers set 131 target for Sunrisers

Hyderabad, April 7 (IANS) Royal Challengers Bangalore set a target of 131 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium Sunday.

Once again bowling with discipline, Sunrisers bowlers restricted the RCB to a modest total of 130 for 8 in 20 overs.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, RCB struggled to reach the score with the failure of top order barring captain Virat Kohli, who was top scorer with 46, which include five hits to the boundaries and one over the fence.

Moises Henriques, who came in place of Dan Christian, played a fine knock of 44 (5×4) to support the skipper and saved the team from a complete disaster.

Barring the two, no other batsman could reach double figures. Ishant Sharma claimed 3 for 27 while Amit Mishra once again impressed with figures of 4-0-15-1. Dale Steyn, Perera, Vihari and Ashish Reddy bagged a wicket each.

Sangakkara’s gamble to introduce Hanuman Vihari as the first change paid off with the off-spinner having Gayle (1) caught behind to his first delivery, which was quickish with slight extra bounce.

About 30,000 Sunday crowd, many of whom were expecting some fireworks by Gayle, was clearly disappointed.

Ishant Sharma gave another major breakthrough in his very first over and the fourth of the inning. Dilshan (5) was beaten to an in-swinger, uprooting the stumps. With both openers back into the pavilion at 22, the visitors were struggling.

Kohli then tried to rebuild the inning. Karun Nayar (9) also did not last long as Amit Sharma trapped him leg before to his first ball.

Kohli, who along with Henriques rescued the team, tried to free the arms in the 13th over by hoisting Ishant Sharma over long-off for the first six of the inning. Ishant conceded 12 runs in that over.

The captain’s fighting knock came to an end in the very next over to a superb return catch by Ashish Reddy in his follow-through. This ended the fourth wicket partnership (43 off 41), the highest of the inning.

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