A Royal, Challenging and Merwellous Performance, Indeed!

Krishna KumarContributor IMay 1, 2009

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 18:  Anil Kumble of Bangalore celebrates after taking the wicket of Shane Warne of Rajasthan during the IPL T20 match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Newlands Cricket Ground on April 18, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

It has been a terrific day. After its 8 run stunning victory over KXIP today, RCB is 7 matches 6 points and in 5th position. KP, you listening? The Whyte & Mackay cup shall overflow tonight, for sure.

WHOA! What a match!! As Harsha Bhogle made a point, it is disheartening to lose a match after controlling it for three quarters of your 20 overs. Sorry KXIP, very sorry Ness, very very sorry Preity. We know, it ain't pretty to lose by 8 runs.

One thought does strike me, I can't help it! Someone wrote about his personal grouse the other day against KP and RCB captaincy issue. May the moral victory be yours, gentleman, since Anil has proved you right tonight.

Both Yuvraj and Anil tried to lead by examples. I thought Yuvi's hat-trick was the cornerstone of the day, but wait... the Houdini over was coming - the 19th of KXIP innings. What an over from Jumbo! I think am starting to feel that this post is getting to border on prolixity and too much of accolades. But what the hey, Pravin Kumar just did it. 

This victory, if one took a quick retro look into the match, did not happen just like that in the post time-out or the last 4 overs.

Actually, the 17th over by PK was horrible. Still, it had Kumble's planning all over it right from ball 1. 3 without loss after Over 1. 4 without loss after Over 2! 70 runs at mid-way.

Parity was being maintained with still 7.6 per over. Then came overs 12 and 13 when the comparison showed KXIP nosing ahead by 3 runs at 12 overs and falling behind by 2 runs after 14.

And even when wickets were not falling, the dot balls were doing the trick of letting the asking rate trickle up ever so unobtrusively. Suddenly 2 stunning catches and a run out later, Punjab was waking up to a new reality.

Mahela gone; Katich gone... Sanga hung in. V de Merwe had a bad over where the ball came unstuck on his hand and full tosses and extras became the norm.

Add to that PK bowled a bad 17. But Anil took personal charge. What a calculative low ball to prove his grasp of the dew factor and the bounce of the turf to castle Sanga. Then the rest was history. 

Poor Chawla... couldn't get to his brass tacks, considering he can clear the park. So, RCB live to fight another day. They are putting in their earnest efforts. And I hope Kohli gets his due soon. His catching and fielding have been of the highest order till now. Hopefully RCB's luck holds on.