A 10-wicket loss in a T20 game is as rare as it gets. And, the fact that Delhi Daredevils have experienced one midway through their campaign, just as it seemed that they were getting into their groove, will hurt them badly. It was a really poor performance wherein their batsmen just couldn't get into any sort of rhythm. A couple of them got starts, but even they wilted under the pressure of constantly falling wickets. In the end, they were left completely embarrassed. Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, should be extremely pleased with their effort. Everything fell together for them in the bowling department. And, with no pressure, their batting also shone.
It was Bangalore's pace bowling that made the difference for them. Ironically, the injury to leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been their best bowler in the tournament, proved to be a blessing in disguise. Although Varun Aaron had disappointed earlier in the series, Virat Kohli's decision to bring him back proved to be a masterstroke as he claimed two big scalps. Bangalore had already gotten off to a great start courtesy early wickets, but Aaron made sure there were no comebacks in store for Delhi dismissing Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews off successive deliveries.
Almost all the Bangalore bowlers chipped in with crucial contributions, which resulted in a wonderful bowling performance. Mitchell Starc got the big scalp of Shreyas Iyer in the very first over, and then returned to clean the tail. David Wiese dismissed skipper JP Duminy just when he seemed to be getting into some sort of rhythm. Iqbal Abdulla and Harshal Patel also took the opportunity to get among the wickets.
While their bowling was top class, Bangalore would be extremely pleased by the fact that they kept Delhi down while batting as well, never allowing them to gain any psychological points. The biggest plus in the batting for them was undoubtedly the return to form of Chris Gayle. The left-hander, with no pressure on him whatsoever, came in and smashed the bowlers like only he can do. The 10-wicket victory marked a complete performance from Bangalore.
For Delhi, it was exactly the opposite, and the batsmen need to take the blame for the debacle. The early loss of the in-form Shreyas Iyer was a massive blow, but the continued failures of Mayank Agarwal, Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews came to haunt them very badly on Sunday. The rare failure of skipper JP Duminy only made matters worse. Delhi must look to put this game out of their minds, but the lessons from this disaster should be learnt.
--By A Cricket Analyst