Otago blown away by RCB
by Rohit Sakunia

Ground:M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Scorecard:Royal Challengers Bangalore v Otago
Player:LRPL Taylor, RV Uthappa, JH Kallis
Event:Champions League 2009/10

DateLine: 12th October 2009


On the back off all-round performance from Jacques Kallis, Royal Challengers Bangalore completed an easy win over Otago to cruise into the second round off the tournament. The batting led by inimitable Kallis was sensational as the home team racked up a mammoth score off 188 in their stipulated 20 overs.


Chasing a mammoth 189 to win against a good bowling attack on a wearing track, Otago openers did not find the going easy. It was a struggle for both Brendon McCullum and Aaron Redmond and finally not being able to take the score anywhere made sure McCullum threw his wicket away. He looked to pup one to long-on and only mishit it to the fielder at mid-on. This wicket and its importance made even the big man Vijay Mallya stand up and cheer.


After picking the first wicket, Kallis began a procession of Otago wickets sending back Aaron Redmond and Hamish Rutheford in quick succession to push the Volts in deep trouble, having lost three wickets with a mere 32 on the board.


When Kallis finished, Kumble and Roelef Van Der Merwe took up the mantle of sending back the Volters from New Zealand back to the dug-out. Second of the McCullum brothers, Nathan who looked a little dangerous in the previous game tried to reverse sweep the leg-spinner only to find himself trapped in front of the wicket. Then Dimitri Mascarenhas was trapped by Merwe and Butler was undone by a Kumble yorker. Wickets kept on tumbling and when Kallis completed a simple catch off Wagner the crowd after their disappointment in the previous game finally got to cheer their local lads through to the next round.


Earlier in the evening, in a must win game for both the sides, the home side started on a good note with Anil Kumble choosing to bat on a pitch he and the experts felt would get slower as the evening progresses.


Forced by a reported injury to Jacques Kallis, Bangalore replaced middle-order batsman Manish Pandey with medium-pacer B Akhil. But the trumpcards for the Bangalore outfit would be their spinners Kumble and Roelof van der Merwe, as both would be expected to play a vital role on a surface where Trinidad & Tobago spinners mocked the Somerset batting earlier in the day.


Thereafter as the openers took guard, Bangalore batsmen looked hardly in trouble against an attack that clearly lost the plot coming into the match. The mammoth total that the Bangalore outfit went on to scale was courtesy some fantastic batting by everyone who took guard. First the openers Robin Uthappa and Jacques Kallis denied any initial happiness to the Otago speedsters. The opening partnerhip, most of which was dominated by Uthappa, brought in 75 runs in a shade less than 10 overs.


It wasn't crash, bang and wallop from the word go though. Uthappa and Kallis took their time to settle in on a pitch that was on the slower side, playing watchfully, choosing orthodoxy over adventure during the first few overs. And when the boundaries began, they were results of proper batsmanship. Uthappa cover drove Neil Wagner on the up for his first boundary before targeting the wide long-on boundary for a four and a six off Dimitri Mascarenhas and Ian Butler. He then went straight, hitting with power twice over bowlers' heads for fours. Bangalore had scored 46 off the Powerplay, and more importantly had lost no wickets. Kallis had remained largely quiet during the early onslaught but brought up the 50 partnership with a cut off Butler. This set the tempo for a whacking finish.


After Uthappa's fall, Virat Kohli took the role of the aggressor and the next 59 were scored off 6 overs, 32 from the willow of Kohli. They kept on bowling either length or short stuff with almost the same pace and this was taken full toll by the Royal Challengers.


The icing on the cake though came in with the fall of Kohli's wicket. In walked Ross Taylor and it was really surprising to see him getting a welcome like that. For a moment he would have definitely felt he was playing in Napier or Wellington or whether he would have got such a welcome applause even there. He also made sure the crowd don't feel disappointed. The right-hander in his usual but inimitable style smacked 32 off 11 deliveries. 25 of these came in the last over which included three maximum's.