Bangalore, April 7 (IANS) Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs in their first match in the fifth season of Indian Premier League (IPL) at a jam-packed Chinnaswamy stadium here Saturday.
Chasing a modest target of 158, Daredevils were restricted to 137 for seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs by some brilliant bowling and tight fielding by the hosts.
Retired Sri Lankan offie Muthiah Muralitharan wrecked the Daredevils with three wickets in four overs for 25 runs. Royal Challengers Bangalore's wicketkeeper AB de Villiers lifted the home team to 157 for eight in 20 overs from an early collapse, with a scintillating unbeaten 64.
Saving the hosts from blushes in their first league match of the tournament, de Villiers made up most for the absence of explosive opener Chris Gayle, who was dropped from the team on fitness grounds.
De Villiers held the fort on one side to help the team put up a defendable score of 157 for the loss of eight wickets and remained unbeaten. Opening batsman Andrew McDonald made a valuable 30.
Mayank Agarwal (16) and Vinay Kumar (18) were the only two middle order batsmen who withstood the onslaught of Daredevils' pacers Morne Morkel (2-30) and Doug Bracewell (3-32) to keep the strike rate rotating with De Villiers.
(Fakir Balaji can be contacted at email@example.com)
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