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Yuvraj Heroics In Vain As Royals Prevail

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh hit a brilliant half-century, took four wickets but ended up on the losing side
©REUTERS / Action Images

Rajasthan Royals 191-5 (Nair 56) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 190-5 by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Yuvraj Singh hit 83 in 38 balls and then took four wickets but ended up on the losing side against the Rajasthan Royals in a high-scoring Indian Premier League 2014 clash.

The Royals bounced back from their recent defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad by chasing down a target of 191 with seven balls to spare.

At the Chinnaswamy Stadium, James Faulkner and Steve Smith put on an unbroken 85-run sixth wicket stand off an astonishing 32 balls to score 191 fo five off only 18.5 overs after the hosts had scored 190 for five.

With this win, Rajasthan lifted themselves to third in the points-table with 12 points from nine games (six wins), while Bangalore sank to sixth spot with six points from nine matches (three wins).

Chasing a mammoth target of 191, Rajasthan Royals made a brisk start with openers Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair putting on 54 runs for the first wicket, with the runs coming in less than eight overs.

Rahane was the first to go, scoring 24 runs off 22 balls with three fours, and it started a regular procession of sorts as they began losing quick wickets.

Shane Watson (1), Stuart Binny (1) and Sanju Samson (13) were gone by the end of the 11th over, as Yuvraj (4-35) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1-24) ran through the middle order.

Nair meanwhile stood alone and completed his fifty off 34 balls, inclusive of seven boundaries. He helped the score past the 100-run mark in the 14th over and then he was dismissed as well, scoring 56 runs off 39 balls, with eight fours in all.

Then Smith and Faulkner came together and smacked the Bangalore bowling to all parts of the ground, chasing down the seemingly impossible 84 runs needed off 39 balls from that position, with seven balls to spare.

It was a turnaround like never before as Smith struck 48 runs off 21 balls with four fours and four sixes, while Faulkner smacked an astonishing 41 off just 17 balls, hitting three fours and three sixes as the last 17 deliveries went for 65 runs.

Earlier, Bangalore won the toss and elected to bat first. They got off to a poor start once again with Virat Kohli (4) opening the innings but falling cheaply.

Chris Gayle (19) couldn’t muster many either and it became 40 for three when Vijay Zol (16) was dismissed as well.

Then came a whirlwind partnership worth 132 runs between Yuvraj and AB de Villiers. They set about resurrecting the innings and they gained some momentum as well, with Yuvraj doing all the hitting work and AB reduced to taking the back seat for once.

The left-hander overcame his rusty season and smacked a half-century off just 24 balls, with five fours and four sixes, as the 100-run mark came up in the 15th over.

De Villiers got to his fifty off 30 balls, hitting one four and four sixes, as they teed off in the last overs and the score almost touched 200.

Yuvraj was finally out for 83 runs off 38 balls, with seven fours and seven sixes, while de Villiers scored 58 runs off 32 balls, with one four and five sixes in all, and they took the field thinking they had enough runs on the board. But it didn’t turn out to be the case.

Kane Richardson (2-43), James Faulkner (1-42), Praveen Tambe (1-38) and Rahul Tewatia (1-17) were the wicket-takers for Rajasthan.

© Cricket World 2014