On the occasion of qualifier Between Dynamic RCB and Enterprising Gujarat Lions, it was the turn of AB de Villiers on Tuesday night when Virat Kohli caught up with the law of averages and got out on a rare duck by dragging Dhawal’s outside off stump delivery on to his stumps. It was a rare failure for this meticulous Batsman in this rich season where he scored loads of runs for all his teams.
The next in line Chris Gayle was finding it difficult to time the ball well and got bowled out by Dhawal kulkarni. By the time K L Rahul realized anything he was out by edging a delivery to slips of Dhawan Kulkarni bowling arsenal. Shane Watson continued his poor form with the bat and lost his wicket by hitting an upward edge to the wicket keeper of Jadeja’s bowling.
Sachin Baby tried to outsmart Dhawal Kulkarni, but perished himself in this outrageous attempt at the extra cover and putting his team into a very precarious situation. RCB was reeling at 29-5 at this crucial juncture of this big match. Stuart Binny’s 21 of 15 balls provide a little relief and stability to RCB’s Innings but he also made an early exit to leave his team in tatters.
But AB the saviour has other ideas in his mind when Iqbal Abdulla joined him at the crease, they were 68-6 in the middle of a steep run chase. When your skipper is performing so well by setting such higher standards, inspires each and every member of the team which was quite evident yesterday night.
Iqbal Abdulla who has not faced a single delivery in this tournament before this match rose to the occasion and gave the required support to the marauding AB de Villiers who was quite oblivious to the pressure and situation of the match. AB played the shots all around 360 degree and scored 79 runs of 47 balls decorated with 5 fours and 5 sixes.
It would be foolish to undermine the importance of Iqbal Abdulla’s batting after coming at number 8. Iqbal’s heroics included 25 balls 33 with 3 fours and a six. This inning was of paramount importance for RCB’s march into the Final of IPL 2016.
In the initial part of the match Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first. Even in this part Iqbal Abdulla became the impact player of the match by taking two most crucial wickets of Gujarat Lions Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch in his first over. Watson scalped the Raina’s wicket in the fourth over of the match. Dwayne Smith 73 off 41 balls and 26 runs off 30 balls did most of the repair job and helped their team to post a competitive total of 158.
This total of 158 was looking quite defendable till the interval of second innings of the match but from there onwards it was AB de Villiers show all the way to take his home team to the final of IPL 2016 by winning the Qualifier 1.