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    Showing posts with label Royal Challengers Bangalore. Show all posts

    Aaron Finch Pays Glowing Tribute to 'Amazing' David Warner As SRH Down GL

    Gujarat Lions batsman Aaron Finch said he and his teammates could only stand and appreciate the match-winning knock of David Warner, who single-handedly crushed their hopes and took Sunrisers Hyderabad to the Indian Premier League (IPL) summit clash with his majestic 93 in Qualifier 2 on Friday night.

    In the Qualifier 1 also, Lions were inches away from the final but for a gritty knock from AB de Villiers.

    After scoring 162 for seven , Lions had Hyderabad at 84 for five and then 117 for six but skipper Warner carried his bat and saw his side through to the final where his team will face the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    "Tonight, I think that we had a very competitive total, it was around par. 170 would have been nice as it turns out, but two (De Villiers and Warner) of the best players in the world have both got big scores against us in the last two games. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and appreciate how good cricketers the two are. And say well played," Finch said at the post match press conference.

    The Australian was effusive in praise of his compatriot.

    "It was an amazing knock, wasn't it? The way that he controlled the innings and went right through and got them home was outstanding. We have been at the receiving end of a couple of great knocks in this tournament, and it is just that one batter in every couple of games seems to get us," Finch said.

    "AB (De Villiers) in the last game and Davey (Warner) tonight. We can hold our head up very high. We played some really great cricket throughout this tournament but unfortunately we just couldn't get the world-class players out when it counted right at the end there."

    Asked which Indian player impressed him the most in the entire Lions campaign in their debut season, Finch named spinner Shivil Kaushik.

    "I think we have seen an unusual spinner in this tournament in Shivil. He has been outstanding for us. Anyone who can bowl with an unusual action like that and who can spin the ball both ways is a huge asset, and he has been outstanding," Finch said.

    The attacking batsman also mentioned Kaushik's impact spell in last night's match, where he gave away only four runs in two overs and eventually 22 in four. His tight bowling in the middle overs put pressure on Hyderabad batsmen, keeping his side in the hunt.

    "It was beautiful the way that he bowled tonight. Under pressure in a big game, to come back into the team after a few games out just shows a real lot of character and someone who hasn't had cricket given to him easily. He has had to work very hard for what he has achieved. He was great all season and I think he can play a big part going forward," he said.

    AB de Villiers epitomises Royal Challengers Bangalore’s never-say-die spirit of IPL 2016

    Dhawal Kulkarni’s sensational opening burst of fast bowling rocked Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to their very core but somebody had obviously forgotten to inform AB de Villiers that Gujarat Lions (GL) were in control of the game.

    RCB had lost five wickets in five overs (5.3 overs to be precise) and had literally gone belly-up, but the unflappable ABD soaked up the pressure, carved up the attack and turned the tables magnificently to power his team into the final of the IPL with a four-wicket win.

    Earlier, the light drizzle at the innings change-over had sent RCB into a tizzy as they chased of a modest target of 159. “The skipper Virat Kohli was a bundle of energy at the break telling us how to overcome that and plan the chase. I told him ‘look Virat, you’re the thinker. Me, I’d just play it as it comes,” revealed ABD at the media briefing after the match.

    And how marvellously it came to him on a night when RCB had been literally brought to their knees. The home team were reeling at 29 for 5 and later 68 for 6 but, as GL’s Dwayne Smith summed up after the match, the visitors being in control was an illusion and “not while De Villiers was still at the wicket.”

    In a team flush with match-winners, what made ABD special, particularly in a match like this, was the ability to suss the situation and, more importantly, to be able to play accordingly.
    “I felt when we were bowling that 160 would be a difficult score to chase on this pitch. It was a peculiar one with the ball not really coming on to the bat,” he said.

    One such delivery accounted for the wicket of RCB’s prolific run-machine Kohli. The batsman, conscious of impending rains which had already hit a few parts of the city and hence wary of the Duckworth- Lewis Rain rule which would kick in after the completion of five overs, did not attempt to play himself in as he customarily does. He went after a widish delivery but succeeded in only dragging the ball onto his stumps. GL were ecstatic with the dismissal while the capacity crowd was stunned into silence. RCB’s hero who had amassed a mind-boggling 913 runs this season had been dismissed for a second-ball duck. They simply could not comprehend that.

    In Kulkarni’s next over Gayle was similarly dismissed, this time while playing a wild heave off the front foot. The consistent KL Rahul was prised out first ball by a peach of a delivery and with Shane Watson (1) and Sachin Baby (0) too sent packing, the wheels had literally come off RCB’s run chase.

    Or so we thought. All the while, and even when Stuart Binny (21, 15b, 2x4, 1x6) took the lead in a crucial 39-run sixth wicket partnership, ABD was biding his time and sizing up the pitch and bowlers.

    “As soon as Iqbal Abdullah came into bat and played out an over I realised that he was up to the task. Sometimes you get that feeling. The way his eyes lit up and the manner in which he shaped up, I knew I did not have to tell him anything. In fact he was counselling me. It was obvious that he had been in such tough situations before,” said ABD singing praises of RCB’s unexpected man of the hour who had shared that match-winning unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 91 runs in 8.4 overs.

    The South African master batsmen had kept RCB in the fight with the odd boundary even as he ran his singles and twos with gusto. The tiny left-handed Abdullah too had wasted no time in squeezing the ball into the gaps and giving the strike back to ABD.

    At the end of the 14th over with RCB at 96 for six and requiring to score at 11 runs per over, ABD said Kohli had sent word not to leave it to the end and that he feared it could rain any moment. This was just the trigger for the master blaster. The crowd simply went berserk and the bowlers withered as he went hammer and tongs at the attack as only he can. Lofted drives, pull shots off the front and back foot, reverse sweeps -- this was vintage ABD stamping his authority on the opposition in no uncertain terms. Abdullah too chipped in with a flurry of boundaries as RCB raced home in style.

    Never seen such control over shots for a young talent: Watson heaps praise on RCB teammate Sarfaraz

    Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is mighty impressed with young Indian batsman Sarfaraz Khan, who he says is an incredible batsman with amazing control over his shots.

    Sarfaraz smashed 35 runs off just 10 balls, hitting five fours and two sixes, to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 200-plus total against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

    "He is an incredible young man and there is no doubt that he has worked extremely hard to get all kinds of shots right. The control over shots he has... Never seen before for a young talent like him. It shows he has practised hell of a lot, and we saw him this [against SRH]," he told reporters at the post-match press conference.

    Watson also said it is a pleasure to watch AB de Villiers bat. The South African batsman hammered Hyderabad bowlers around the park with a whirlwind knock of 82, that was laced with seven fours and six shots over the ropes.

    "What I saw tonight is as good as batting I have ever seen. He didn't look like taking risk at all in his entire innings. One shot he played off the backfoot for a six is an incredible shot to play, and he does it with so much of ease is really a pleasure to watch. He executes his shots incredibly well," he said.

    Replying to a query, Watson said there is no need for changing batting order of Chris Gale, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, as it gives a momentum to the team.

    "This I saw happening in the previous season when I was playing as a rival for Rajasthan Royals. So, why should one change the order when the top three are delivering. You need to take early wickets, otherwise you are in deep trouble, and that's what exactly happened tonight," he said.

    Watson did not read much into Chris Gayle's failure at the top.

    "It is not going to be everyone's day. Chris got out early, but we had depth in batting with likes of Kedar Jadhav, Sarfaraz, AB and Kohli in our side," he said.

    Watson also said that the way Kohli and De Villiers batted together in their magnificent 157-run partnership he felt he wouldn't get to bat.

    Watson eventually turned out to bat and contributed in his team's cause with a 19-run cameo that had three sixes.

    "More than anything else playing before your home crowd is a very nice feeling. We did not get to play that many matches in Jaipur - my previous home ground," he said.

    Asked about his improving relations with Gayle, Watson said it is amazing that a couple of commercials provided an opportunity for both to know each other better.

    "Relations with Gayle has been very good so far. We had couple of commercials as well which gave us a chance to know each other better after few run-ins in the past. Don't know how it works when I am playing alongside him in one team. This is the beauty of cricket," he said.

    Watson said he was happy to claim David Warner's wicket because he has the potential to turn the match on its head with his power hitting.

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