Bangalore side posts facile seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals to return to top of the table
As Ravi Rampual ran in to deliver the first ball of the match, the giant screen at the Chinnaswamy read ‘Royal Rumble’ suggesting to the match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The clash, though, turned out to be no more than just a grumble.
The fall of three wickets in quick succession, including that of the in-form duo of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers — during Royal Challengers’ chase did set in some panic but Chris Gayle dropped anchor to guide the hosts past Royals’ 117 all out in 19.4 overs here on Saturday. With Gayle remaining unbeaten on 49 (44b, 4x4, 1x6), Bangalore replied with 123/3 in 17.5 overs to register their fifth win, maintaining their unbeaten record at home. Having collected 10 points from seven games, the Challengers also returned to the top of the points’ chart.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (25, 22b, 5x4), who replaced Andrew McDonald in the side, and Gayle provided a solid start plundering 48 runs in the six-over Power-Play period. The game appeared as good as over but Dilshan edged Shane Watson, who bowled for the first time in the tournament, behind the wickets. Kohli then played on James Faulkner while de Villiers fell to a brilliant catch by Ajit Chandila. From 53/0, Royal Challengers slid to 64/3 to generate some excitement in the Royals’ camp.
However, Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary, replacing KL Rahul, added 59 runs in 53 balls for the unbroken fourth wicket to dash Royals’ slim hopes. Gayle, who shed his attacking instincts through the innings, finally obliged his fans by sealing the match with straight six over sight screen. Royals’ gamble to play Shaun Tait ahead of Kevon Cooper did not pay off either.
Watson’s poor run continued this season as the Australian fell early once again being snapped up by the returning Murali Kartik at mid-off off Ravi Rampaul. Royals soon suffered another blow when their prolific scorer Ajinkya Rahane couldn’t clear Dilshan at point.
With both the openers back in the dug-out inside six overs, it was left to skipper Rahul Dravid (35, 31b, 5x4), the biggest hit with the crowd, and Stuart Binny (33, 20b, 4x4, 1x6) to resurrect the innings. And the Bangalore duo did exactly that adding a brisk 40 off 27 balls with Binny doing all the damage.
Playing his first match at his ‘home’ ground, the right-hander wasted little time as reeled off one boundary after another with his six over backward square leg off Kartik being the pick of his shots.
His stay, however, was cut short when his miscued pull off Vinay ballooned and stumper Arun Karthik held on to the high catch after covering a good ground running backwards.
After Binny’s departure, Dravid stepped on the gas and each of his strokes were greeted with resounding applause by the packed stadium as if it were coming off Royal Challengers’ batsman. Sitting pretty at 97 for three in the 15th over, Royals looked set for a competitive total with an extremely effective Brad Hodge in the middle. But Dravid’s dismissal at this stage triggered a stunning collapse.
Vinay, RP Singh (3/18) claimed five wickets between them from there on as the visitors lost six wickets in 4.2 overs while managing just 12 runs to settle for a less than par score. The Royal Challengers’ bowlers were right on the money as they strangulated Royals’ batsmen without conceding any extra run.
Vinay (3/13), meanwhile, increased his tournament tally to 12 wickets to wear the Purple Cap for the highest wicket-taker. While Gayle did successfully guide the chase, no one was questioning Vinay’s selection as the man of the match.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Shane Watson c Kartik b Rampaul 6 (9b, 1x4), Ajinkya Rahane c Dilshan b Unadkat 14 (13b, 1x4, 1x6), Rahul Dravid c Rampaul b Kartik 35 (31b, 5x4), Stuart Binny c Karthik b Vinay 33 (20b, 4x4, 1x6), Brad Hodge c Karthik b Vinay 13 (17b, 1x4), Dishant Yagnik c Rampaul b RP Singh 5 (4b, 1x4), James Faulkner c Rampaul b RP Singh 3 (7b), S Sreesanth lbw Vinay 0 (2b), Ajit Chandila (not out) 4 (6b), Shaun Tait b RP Singh 1 (3b), Siddarth Trivedi c RP Singh b Rampaul 3 (6b). Total (all out, 19.4 overs) 117.
Fall of wickets: 1-10 (Watson), 2-26 (Rahane), 3-66 (Binny), 4-97 (Dravid), 5-105 (Hodge), 6-108 (Faulkner), 7-110 (Yagnik), 8-111 (Sreesanth), 9-112 (Tait).
Bowling: Ravi Rampaul 3.4-1-19-2, RP Singh 4-0-13-3, Jaydev Unadkat 4-0-32-1, R Vinay Kumar 4-0-18-3, Murali Kartik 4-0-35-1,
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs 31/2.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Tillakaratne Dilshan c Yagnik b Watson 25 (22b, 5x4), Chris Gayle (not out) 49 (44b, 4x4, 1x6), Virat Kohli b Faulkner 1 (4b), AB de Villiers c Chandila b Watson 7 (8b, 1x4), Saurabh Tiwary (not out) 25 (29b, 2x4, 1x6). Extras (LB-5, W-11) 16. Total (for 3 wkts, 17.5 overs) 123.
Fall of wickets: 1-53 (Dilshan), 2-57 (Kohli), 3-64 (de Villiers).
Bowling: Ajit Chandila 4-0-21-0, S Sreesanth 1-0-9-0, Shaun Tait 3-0-30-0 (w-8), James Faulkner 4-0-21-1 (w-1), Shane Watson 2-0-11-2, Siddarth Trivedi 3.5-0-26-0.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 48/0.