Muttiah Muralitharan picked up three wickets off his four overs to help Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 20-run win over Delhi Daredevils yesterday.
Muralitharan got into the action when Delhi were cruising at 55 for one in the eighth over, chasing 158. He picked up the wickets of Naman Ojha (33 off 26), opener Aaron Finch (25 off 24) and Glenn Maxwell (three off four) in each of his first three overs to derail Delhi’s chase.
Irfan Pathan (25 off 15) did try and steer his team past the target but lack of firepower, and accurate slow bowling by Bangalore, ensure maximum points for Daniel Vettori’s side.
Earlier, an unbeaten 64 off 42 balls from AB de Villiers allowed Bangalore to post a defendable total. De Villiers hits six fours and two sixes as none of the other batsmen bar Anthony McDonald (300 off 19) were able to make an impression after Virendar Sehwag put Bangalore into bat.
Doug Bracewell (three for 32) and Morne Morkel (two for 30) remained Delhi’s most impressive bowlers but Muralitharan’s effort with the ball in the second half sealed Delhi’s first loss of the event. This was Bangalore’s first match of the new IPL season.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.