New Delhi: From the look of it, the M Chinnaswamy wicket looked a flat surface. But as they say, looks can be deceptive. And when RCB walked in to bat, they experienced the difficulties early on. The ball stopped on the surface and spun sharply as well. Scoring runs demanded expertise coupled with a sound footwork.
Manan Vohra, with scores of 2 & 0 before this game wouldn't have been expecting to play this game. But when he did find his name on the list, he certainly wouldn't have thought that it would be another challenge awaiting him. But to get out of the lean patch, he knew he would have to take his chances to gather quick runs. He is a known hitter and likes the ball to hit the bat with pace. But on a two-paced wicket, he knew what could bail him out.
A release was required and the good thing that happened for Vohra was the introduction of spin in the second over. Usually, batsmen need to be well versed with the art of scoring runs on such a tricky track but Vohra was aware that he will have to start hitting through the line to find runs. Not the one to use his feet a lot against the spinners, Vohra made good use of his reach to clear the infield. Luckily for him, JP Duminy bowled fuller and strayed occasionally to let him use his bottom hand quite often.
In the second over, Vohra swept Duminy for a six and then followed that up with a flurry of boundaries in his next over. He hit Duminy for a couple of sixes and as many fours. Duminy too failed to replicate the length ball against Vohra, on which he nearly snared his wicket with a sharp turn. But the South African pitched it fuller and flatter, aiding Vohra to complete his bat swing. Vohra batted with patience but was trapped on 45 off 31 balls on the bowling of Mayank Markande.
Though RCB were 43/1 in the first six overs, it was not at all a bad score. With De Kock having struggled to come to terms with the pace of the wicket, it was imperative for RCB to stick there and not lose wickets.
If you thought it was a 180-190 wicket, you were mistaken. A score of 160-170 could have become a match-winning total. With RCB boating of good spinners and the wicket showing signs of wear and tear, Vohra certainly had put them on track.