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RCB defend 157 despite Pant’s belligerence

RCB defending a meagre 157, caught Delhi Daredevils by the throat and strangled the life out of their chase to register a 15-run victory, their first win of the tournament.

IPL 2017 witnessed its second thriller in five games.

Daredevils needed 21 off the final two overs with Rishabh Pant, in tremendous hitting form, and Amit Mishra at the crease. Shane Watson conceded two runs off the penultimate over, and Pawan Negi allowed just three runs off the final over, his first of the season. For the first time since 2013, a team had successfully defended under 160 in the IPL at this ground.

Royal Challengers surprised many when they chose to bat, and were quickly reduced to 55 for 3 in the ninth over. Kedar Jadhav not only resurrected a faltering innings but put his team on course for a par score at this ground. But the majority of the work was done by Royal Challengers’ bowlers, all of who contributed with at least a wicket each, to complete one of the toughest tasks in the IPL.

Ignoring the data

In the tournament opener, both teams – Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore – wanted to chase. Sunrisers were put in but negated that disadvantage by batting Royal Challengers out of the game.

On a small ground, in terrific batting conditions, Royal Challengers wanted to ensure they didn’t suffer the same fate. In a data-driven format, they ignored all the stats and opted to chase. It was only the second time a team had batted first at this ground since IPL 2015 – the only other time was the 2016 IPL final.

In the previous 10 T20s at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, five totals of over 200 have been defended and the five under 200 have been chased down. Royal Challengers knew their target. But had no fail-safe if their batting malfunctioned.

Read more: Royal Challengers defend 157

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant blitzed a 36-ball 57, but it wasn’t enough© BCCI
Photo by Ron Gaunt – IPL – Sportzpics

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