Sixth straight win puts RCB in second spot

Arvind, Gayle sparkle as Royals fade

Sixth straight win puts RCB   in second spot

Kohli began his captaincy stint on a perfect note hitting it lucky with the spin of coin. After restricting Rajasthan Royals to an inadequate 146 for six, Bangalore replied with 151 with three overs left to script their sixth straight win of IPL IV. Challengers now occupy second position on the table with 15 points while Royals remained stuck on 11 points from 12 matches.

Though Chris Gayle (70, 44b, 6x4, 4x6) once again had a big role in Challengers’ nine-wicket win, his innings wasn’t characterised by the usual violent strokeplay. Despite scoring at a strike rate that hovered around 150 for better part of the knock, it must be said the innings appeared more composed than brutal. It wasn’t until the sixth over that the left-hander scored his first six and the next one came in the 13th. In the process, the West Indian showed in ample measure that he can knuckle down and play according to the situation.

Earlier, Tillakaratne Dilshan (38, 24b, 8x4) gave the desired start to the RCB chase by raising 68 runs for the opening wicket with the West Indian ace. Playing his last game, the Lankan would have loved to score some more, but the opener made up for his early indifferent form in the last two matches. With Kohli (39, 34b, 3x4, 1x6) adding 93 runs for the unbroken second wicket alliance, Challengers registered their second successive nine-wicket win.

There was never a doubt about Kohli taking over Royal Challengers’ mantle, sooner rather than later. The moment, however, came earlier than he would have expected; though it wasn’t by any design. With regular skipper pulling out on the day of the match, the responsibility was handed over to the youngster. This wasn’t the only change that Bangalore effected. A profligate A Mithun made way for South African all-rounder Charl Langeveldt while left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi made his IPL debut. KB Arun Karthik too got his first match of the season with Cheteshwar Pujara out with a knee injury and the Tamil Nadu batsman was entrusted with the job of wicket-keeping as well.   
 
Inserted by the Challengers, Royals got off to a decent start. Both Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson collected runs at a brisk pace though never at an alarming rate. Dravid set the pace with two crisp boundaries off Zaheer Khan while Watson took a special liking for S Arvind (3/34) slamming him for two sixes over mid-wicket. The duo had raised 73 runs inside 10 overs and looked well set to guide Royals to big total when Arvind changed the course of the innings with a double strike. The left-arm seamer dismissed the dangerous Watson who failed to clear AB de Villiers at long-off fence. Two balls later the paceman had his senior State-mate Dravid caught and bowled to bring the challengers back into the game.     

Ajinkya Rahane and Johan Botha tried resurrecting the innings but a terrible mix-up saw the former sacrifice his wicket. Arvind, who seemed to have developed a knack of taking wickets, got rid of Botha while Ross Taylor fell for the well-laid deep mid-wicket trap by Langeveldt. With Ashok Menaria holing out early and just five runs coming in the final over bowled by Zaheer, Royals’ hopes of putting up even a fighting total failed to materialise. 

SCORE BOARD:

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Shane Watson c de Villiers b Arvind 34 (29b, 3x4, 2x6), Rahul Dravid c & b Arvind 37 (31b, 6x4), Ajinkya Rahane (run out) 17 (10b, 1x4, 1x6), Johan Botha c Karthik b Arvind 19 (20b, 1x4), Ross Taylor c Kaif b Langeveldt 13 (13b), Ashok Menaria c Kaif b Gayle 8 (6b, 1x4), Abhishek Raut (not out) 5 (8b), Dishant Yagnik (not out) 2 (5b). Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-7, NB-2) 11. Total (for 6 wkts, 20 overs) 146.
Fall of wickets: 1-73 (Watson), 2-73 (Dravid), 3-102 (Rahane), 4-122 (Botha), 5-124 (Taylor), 6-133 (Menaria).

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-23-0 (w-1), S Arvind 4-0-34-3, Charl Langeveldt 4-0-26-1 (nb-1), Chris Gayle 3-0-23-1 (nb-1, w-6), Virat Kohli 3-0-17-0, Abrar Kazi 2-0-21-0 (w-1).
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 32/0; 10: 74/2; 15: 112/3; End of innings: 146/6 in 20 overs. 
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 43/0.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Chris Gayle (not out) 70 (44b, 6x4, 4x6), Tillakaratne Dilshan c Taylor b Warne 38 (24b, 8x4), Virat Kohli (not out) 39 (34b, 3x4, 1x6). Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-2) 4. Total (for one wkt, 17 overs) 151.
Fall of wicket: 1-68 (Dilshan).
Bowling: Shane Watson 2-0-19-0 (w-2), Johan Botha 4-0-42-0, Pankaj Singh 2-0-23-0, Siddarth Trivedi 2-0-12-0, Shane Warne 4-0-26-1, Ross Taylor 1-0-11-0, Ashok Menaria 2-0-16-0.

Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 50/0; 10: 90/1; 15: 126/1; end of innings: 151/1 in 17 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 66/0.

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