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Bangalore Royal Challengers keep semis hope alive


While Bangalore Royal Challengers went into the match in a must-win situation for the team to stay in the semis track, Delhi were a relaxed outfit having already qualified for the semis. Virender Sehwag won the toss and elected bat first.

While Skipper Sehwag was looking for a good outing at the Wanderers after his rash of failures, Bangalore Royal Challengers hoped for early wickets to put pressure on Delhi straight away. Bangalore's wishes were granted when Praveen Kumar, bowling the first over of the match, got the wickets of Sehwag and Manhas. A legside delivery from Praveen Kumar had Sehwag flicking the ball straight to the hands of Ross Taylor. Mithun Manhas, who came in at number three, attempted a pull off Praveen Kumar. However he played the shot too early and holed out to a diving Kallis at the 2nd slip. Gautham Gambhir and de Villiers got together and played good criket, getting Delhi out of the gap. However the prospective pair was nipped by Bangalore Royal Challengers when Gambhir was dismissed by Kallis. It was once again left to de Villiers to help Delhi to a good score with Dinesh Karthik partnering him.

Bangalore got a critical break on the other side of the strategy break when van De Merwe dismissed his South African team-mate de Villers. Delhi drooping further with the old war horse Anil Kumble castling McDonald's stumps. The spell of wickets put a break on the run-rate. Dinesh Karthik and Nagar played for singles and twos trying to get Delhi to a reputable score. Bangalore kept the pair on a leash, not giving away the boundaries. Eventually, Karthik and Nagar were dismissed. Mahroof got some quick runs towards the end helping Delhi reach a score of 134/7 at the end of over.

Delhi started off well with the ball with Nehra getting the wicket of Robin Uthappa in the first over. Uthappa's incapability to come up with a contribution continued to anguish Bangalore Royal Challengers through the tournament. Rahul Dravid joined Kallis at number three and the experienced pair took a cautious approach, ensuring that Bangalore did not lose further wickets. The duo played diligently, going about the chase in a judicious manner and brought up the fifty partnership. They looked good to take Bangalore to the target until Dravid was out to Nagar in the 13th over. A soft dismissal resulted in Dravid heading back to the dug-out after scoring 38 runs.

Kallis held his end and continued the well work for Bangalore Royal Challengers. Taylor gave him well company as they took the team closer to the target. Taylor played some good shots until he got out to Nagar. Meanwhile, Kallis played crucial role in keeping Bangalore's semi-final hopes alive and went on to bring up a well made fifty in the process. Boucher provided him the perfect support as they kept the run-rate on par with Delhi, eventually winning the match by 7 wickets with one over to spare. Kallis remained unbeaten on 58 off 56 balls and his sturdy innings earned him the man-of-the-match.

Man of the match: Kallis

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