Bangalore Flex Bowling Muscle By Clobbering Rajasthan
RCB 134-1 (Kohli 62 no) beat
RR 130-9 (Smith 31) by nine wickets
22nd match, IPL in Ahmedabad
Mitchell Starc bowled brilliantly and Virat Kohli led from the front as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made short work of table toppers Rajasthan Royals (RR) beating them by nine wickets to win their second game in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Ahmedabad.
RCB won the toss and chose to field, even though chasing hasn’t been strength for them so far.
RCB brought back Chris Gayle who was playing instead of Rilee Rossouw.
RR started well, Shane Watson (26) striking RCB’s best bowler, Starc (3-22) for fours in successive overs, even though Starc was getting some dangerous swing into the right-hander.
Ajinkya Rahane (18) on the other end clobbered Iqbal Abdulla (1-28) for a six and four in a 13-run fourth over.
Harshal Patel (2-23) got the first breakthrough for RCB with a slower off-cutter that trapped the Orange Cap holder, Rahane in front of the stumps.
Almost by cue, Watson smacked Yuzvendra Chahal (2-25), RCB’s young leg-spinner and frequent wicket-taker for a six and four.
However, Chahal had the last laugh, Watson not getting enough bat on a flat-batted smash that went straight to Starc in deep midwicket.
RR managed 48 for two in the first power-play.
Karun Nair (16) looked to be in good touch hitting Abdulla for a six and had some luck too dropped by Chahal on 13.
However, Nair didn’t make the most of it, run out trying to steal a tight second run but not making it.
RR managed 73 for three in the first 10 overs but things went from bad to worse from then on.
RR lost their young striker Deepak Hooda (1) cheaply, Abdullah beating his bat on a wild slog to castle the stumps.
Sanju Samson (4) who hasn’t been in the best of touch this season also went for a premeditated slog sweep against Chahal losing his middle stump.
That left RR tottering at 89 for five at the end of the 13th over.
Stuart Binny (20) was also dropped on seven by Abdulla at long on, who missed a pretty easy catch.
Just when Steven Smith (31) was looking to break free, Starc managed to send one short and fast.
Smith top edged it to gully, Dinesh Karthik running around to take the catch.
In a double strike, Starc also got Binny, who timed an inside out shot to extra cover straight to David Wiese (0-27).
RR’s finisher James Faulkner (4) couldn’t do much either as his paddle shot was held superbly by a flying Karthik in one of the catches of the tournament so far.
RR just managed 130 for nine in 20 overs, adding just 30 in their last five overs, the lowest for any team at this IPL and 57 in their last 10.
RCB gave away just four extras and the figures of Starc were sensational, with an economy of 5.5.
Patel was second best with two big wickets and an economy of 5.75 while the rest of the RCB bowlers were all efficient as well on a good batting track.
RCB were terrific with the bat almost avenging their past defeats.
Gayle (20) was still not in the best of his form but still managed to smash three fours and a six in his 17-ball innings, Virat Kohli (62 not out) and he added 36 for the first wicket.
Gayle was gaining his form smashing Chris Morris (0-23) for two fours and a six over long-on in a 15-run over.
However, Watson (1-23) bowled a brilliant fifth over giving away just one run and foxing Gayle with a slow bouncer that the latter meekly edged to the wicket-keeper half pulling, half poking.
AB de Villiers (47 not out) walked in finally at number three after a lot of clamour about his low batting position.
He showed his class almost immediately playing a square drive and a back foot punch for two fours off Faulkner (0-17) in the last over of the power-play, RCB reaching 49 for one.
Kohli quiet until then, attacked RR’s leg-spinner Pravin Tambe (0-36) with a flat six.
It was an off day for Tambe as he was taken to cleaners by de Villiers in his next over, the latter smashing two wonderful boundaries off two poor deliveries.
Kohli played one of the shots of the day against RR skipper Watson, in the 14th over skipping down the track and smashing a short ball like a tennis forehand straight down the ground.
He brought up his half-century in the same over where Watson went for 16 almost ending the RR challenge.
RCB finished off the game in a hurry reaching 134 for one in 16.1 overs to give their net run-rate a decent push as well.
While Watson was the lone wicket-taker, none of the RR bowlers seemed incisive, Dhawal Kulkarni (0-26) the most economical.
Tambe was particularly expensive as RCB probably had a new batting line-up that seems to be more effective.
© Cricket World 2015