Resurgence of RCB Team in second half of IPL 2019
Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 has reached the final stages that will decide the winners of IPL 2019. After every team got an opportunity to place 14 games each, 4 teams to qualified for the play-offs – Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Sunrises Hyderabad (SRH). Clearly this means that its curtains for remaining teams – Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings X1 Punjab (KXIP) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). This might put a question mark in everyone’s mind about individual team performances. But then when one looks at points table, we know the competition as bottom five teams were only separated by 1 point. RCB & RR got 11 points whereas SRH, KKR & KXIP got 12 points but run-rate was the deciders.
IPL’19 – Close Contest
The IPL’19 has set a record of some kinds – first-time a team getting 12 points qualified for play-offs. And most importantly, the team placed bottom has scored as high as 11 points. The current status talks about the competitiveness of every team. Every team has made the respective happy and everyone has had something to cheer about.
Speaking up as an RCB fan, it does feel sad but then I am glad that the players gave it their best. It was very hearting to see the team either win/draw the last the last 4 games. In this article I thought of sharing my experience watching the matches.
RCB vs CSK (21st Apr’19)
This probably is one of the biggest rivalries among the team other than CSK vs MI. A match that was excepted to be have a super-charged atmosphere and the team were to perform at their best. The match was well attended by fans of CSK and RCB. And among the prominent people to watch the match were, Maldives President.
Batting first RCB scored a mere 161 runs that probably one of the lowest score on Chinnaswamy Stadium playing first. CSK was expected to romp through the match and win it comfortable. But we all know about the unpredictability due to changes in few things in certain teams. This match saw one of the most celebrated fast bowlers, Dayl Steyn perform at his best. The first over saw Shane Watson & Suresh Raina being removed in the back to back deliveries. CSK was struggling at 28/4 that became 83/5 inc13.1 overs after Raydu got out. We then saw the performance of Dhoni that scared the living daylights out of fans and players alike. CSK needed 26 runs to win of the last over and with Dhoni batting, fans expected miracle. Umesh Yadav conceded 24 runs in 5 balls by giving away 4, 6, 6, 2, 6 runs. The last ball Dhoni swings and misses, Parthiv collects the ball and runs out Thakur. A nail-bitter that went RCB’s way due cool & calm bowling by Umesh in the last ball.
An unexpected twist to a match definitely pumps up the team spirit and makes them perform better.
RCB vs KXIP (24th Apr’19)
This match was another amazing encounter with RCB team playing for their lives. Knowing very well that the team needed to win all games to qualify for the play-off. But it was going to be very difficult to play against a team that had inform batsman in KL Rahul & Gayle. But there is always a hope when one watches any match played by RCB team.
Batting first the RCB team scored a mammoth 202 runs with ABD alone scoring 83 runs of 44 balls. ABD played a mature inning after the early departure of Virat Kohli. Marcus Stonis also understood his role and contributed well with the bat to help setup the target.
KXIP had the firepower in Chris Gayle who scored a quick-fire 23 but was out caught when KXIP score was 42 after 3.2 overs. The onslaught of runs continued with KL Rahul & Mayank steadying the innings until it became 105/3 in 10.1 overs. Nicholas Pooran & David Miller continued but they never threatened the total. As expected, the wickets started tumbling and score stood at 176/5 after 19 overs. We as RCB supports were never sure on what might happen. The team prevailed after Umesh Yadav ended up giving just 9 runs and taking 2 wickets. RCB won the match by 17 runs and this was probably one of the sweetest victories.
iB Cricket – Virtual Reality Cricket
This is the World’s most immersive Virtual Reality Cricket that one can find. I got an opportunity to play one over and experience it myself. Let me describe my experience. I could feel like I was in a stadium facing an actual bowler. one can see the crowd and recognize layer. The bowler comes running like a typical real bowler on pitch and throws the ball at you. After hitting the shot one can also see the typical place where the ball struck the bat, for checking if we middle it. The ball trajectory is shown, and the players pounce or even go collect balls.
It’s an absolute delightful experience being in virtual world and playing. Currently the are doing corporate tie-ups and setup in resorts. Soon they will be available at many places. For the current IPL season, they are tied up with the RCB team.
RCB vs RR (30-Apr’19)
The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore is one of the best stadia in the country. Reason for that are the lush-green outfield, batting friendly pitch and cool weather. The city gets rains sometime during the summer when the temperature starts to sour. And this was the match in which the rain god intervened.
The rain started pouring correctly at around 19.55hrs and it went on for nearly 3 hours before it stopped. Umpires decide on having a 5-overs aside match that’s the minimum over to be consider the match as being legitimate.
Batting first our team took a scintillating start by score by getting 23 runs of 1st over. Then the wickets start tumbling just like how it start pouring. The next 4 overs, team was able to muster 12, 10, 9 & 8 runs leaving behind a total of 62/7.
Playing second, one thing was clear that RR had to play all the 5 overs for the match to be counted. The RR team had a great started and did not lose any wickets and the score stood at 40/0 in 3 hours. Yezhvinder Chahal came to bowl and got the 1st wicket at 41 and then it started raining again. The match had to be called off as the allocated time was over.
The rains damped the spirit of the fans who expected a cracking contest between 2 teams. These 2 teams were almost punted out until they start putting back to back good performances. Experts even predicted a surprise entry of a team at the bottom of the pile to qualify. But the rain gods played the spoil sport and the teams to settle for a point.
This was one of the matches where I did see few people leaving when it started raining. But many stayed back expecting the match to restart and enjoy the thrilling contest.
While there were rains, the MC kept the audience engaged and the drummer’s play some good music & engaged crowd.
RCB vs SRH (4th May’19)
The final match was expected to be a thrilling affair between 2 good teams. At one side was the home team RCB, playing for pride and give back something to fans. Other end was one team that had their sights set on the play-offs.
As we all know, cricket is a funny game and it’s always about “expecting the unexpected“. The 1st half, RCB bowled very well until 19th over and we restricted SRH to 147/7. At that time only Kane Williamson & Bhuvaneshwar Kumar were at the crease. And like in the past, things just went out control and Umesh Yadav ended up conceding 28 runs in the final. SRH total now stood at 175/7.
As RCB started the 2nd innings, the crowd was expecting a great victory. But within 3 overs, RCB top 3 batsman – Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers were out. We had Hetmeyer and Gurkeerat playing their best inning ever. They put up a 134 runs partnership that ensured that RCB crossed the line with relative ease. If these players would have performed at this level during the earlier matches, RCB would have surely qualified for playoffs.
Crowd thoroughly enjoyed the match and cheered for RCB. There were many SRH fans who went back home dejected.
The crowd loves it when they see Virat Kohli coming to field at the boundary near one of the stands. Everyone start chanting his name, try taking selfie as if he were next to them. Also, the RCB team is the only team that has the most dedicated fan following. Inspite of all the loses, there is always hope that the next year will be good and we will win the IPL 2020.
The Corporate stand that I was sitting in had access to a separate dining section that also served alcohol. Some of the drink served included Royal Challenges Whisky, Captain Morgan Rum, Kingfisher Strong & Premium Beer & Amstel Beer. The food spread also was very elaborate.
I enjoyed the dinner and the drinks while watching the match on the small screen. But then when I went back to stadium, I could see a sea of SRH fans in Orange Jersey. Post match I saw most of the supporters walking back silently. But for RCB fans, there was absolute joy of celebrating the victory. There were many who were seen responding the interviews by media-house with high spirits.
The performance of the RCB team in the last 4 matches have been amazing. Fans especially loved it the most when RCB beat CSK in a nail-biting encounter. That triggered the team to play well in the next few encounters and RCB team won 2 match & drew 1 at home. The team performed very well in the last encounter and pleased the audience.
The dialogue, “Eee Sala Cup Nadhe” kept reverberating outside the stadium. People felt very happy on seeing the team win matches against strong teams. I enjoyed playing the iB Cricket that probably the world best VR Cricket experience.
I loved the hospitality for fans watching matches from some of the hospitality stands. The food spread and taste was amazing. There were good options in terms of alcohols and soft-drinks. Though the home-team did not qualify, fans enjoyed hearing Virat Kohli speak & appreciating the support.
I am glad to have been part of most of the games played by RCB at their home turf. A special mention of DNA Networks and their staff for doing a wonderful job managing security & hospitality during the matches at Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Royal Challengers Bangalore