Royal Challengers Bangalore may have lost out on a place in the final of IPL 8 following their defeat to Chennai Super Kings in the second qualifier, but they should be reasonably pleased with how their tournament progressed and, in the end, fell at the final hurdle. Bangalore won seven and lost five matches in the league stage, while two games ended in no result. They won the Eliminator, thrashing Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs, before crashing out with a defeat to Chennai. Here’s a look back at how their tournament progressed.
Bangalore began the tournament with a three-wicket triumph against Kolkata. They were then thrashed by Hyderabad by eight wickets, and went on to lose to Mumbai and Chennai as well, going down by 18 and 27 runs respectively. They returned to winning ways with a smashing nine-wicket triumph over Rajasthan, and then did even better against Delhi, completing a perfect ten-wicket win. After their second game against Rajasthan was washed out, they came up with another thumping seven-wicket triumph over Kolkata. After going down to Chennai, they then beat Mumbai and Punjab comprehensively. Punjab beat them in the reverse encounter but Bangalore booked their place in the top four with a 6-wicket victory over Hyderabad.
The top three in the batting order were the stars for Bangalore. AB de Villiers was the leading run-scorer for the team will 513 runs in 16 games at a strike rate of 175. He made one hundred and two fifties at an average of 46.6. De Villiers hit 60 fours and 22 sixes. Skipper Virat Kohli made 505 runs at a strike rate of 131 with three fifties, and an average of 45.9. Chris Gayle also flourished with 491 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 147 with one hundred and two half-centuries. He averaged close to 41 with 38 sixes.
Mandeep Singh also starred down the order, although his figures do not show it. He made 157 runs at a strike rate of 157 with one fifty. He played the match-winning cameo against Kolkata, and made a half-century in the eliminator as Bangalore trashed Rajasthan. Mitchell Starc was the hero with the ball, claiming 20 wickets at a strike rate of 13 and an economy rate of 6.7. He averaged an excellent 14.5. Yuzvendra Chahal was the leading wicket-taker for Bangalore with 23 wickets at a strike rate of 12.2. He economy rate though was slightly higher at 8.8.
Dinesh Karthik was the biggest disappointment for Bangalore. In 16 matches, he managed only 141 runs at a strike rate of 120.5, and a poor average of 12.8. His highest in the event was only 28. Iqbal Abdulla failed with the ball for Bangalore. He played in five games, but claimed only four wickets at a strike rate of 28.5. His economy rate was also high at 7.9. Abdulla averaged 37.5 with a best of 2 for 36.
--By A Cricket Correspondent