On a batting-friendly M. Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) did well to defend a par total against Rajasthan Royals (RR) here on Sunday.
Set a target of 190, RR stumbled to 182 for six. A disciplined bowling performance from RCB saved the day, with pacer Harshal Patel starring with three wickets.
It was a poor chase from RR. Yashasvi Jaiswal (47, 37b, 5x4, 2x6) and Devdutt Padikkal (52, 34b, 7x4, 1x6) guided the visitor to a comfortable 92 for one in 10 overs, but from here, slow batting robbed RR of momentum.
Southpaw Shimron Hetmyer (3, 9b), known to be a power hitter, had a shocking outing.
The asking rate reached breaking point when RR needed 61 runs from 24 balls. Dhruv Jurel (34 n.o., 16b, 2x4, 2x6) and R. Ashwin (12, 6b, 2x4) fired in spurts, but it was nowhere near enough.
Harshal’s slower deliveries befuddled the RR batters, while David Willey (one for 26) kept up the pressure with a tight line. Mohammed Siraj was expensive, even if he often beat the batter for pace. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga applied the brakes with a miserly spell in the middle overs.
After being put in, RCB failed to capitalise on an electric stand between Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell (77, 44b, 6x4, 4x6) and du Plessis (62, 39b, 8x4, 2x6) crushed the RR bowling with a 127-run third-wicket stand in 67 balls, but after the duo departed, RCB moved at a snail’s pace.
The home team managed to score only 33 runs in the last five overs. RCB’s complete dependence on du Plessis and Maxwell reads like an old and tired script.
The likes of Shahbaz Ahmed, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik and Suyash Prabhudesai have repeatedly failed to contribute.
It was a forgettable day for Virat Kohli. The opener was sent back in the very first ball of the match, caught plumb in front by a Trent Boult inswinger.
RR’s Yuzvendra Chahal (one for 28) was on the money, keeping his leggies wide outside off to negate the slog-sweep.
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