Royal Challengers Bangalore slipped to yet another loss as Rajasthan Royals won the battle of the Royals by a whooping 59 runs. Banking on a dazzling unbeaten 103 from Ajinkya Rahane, Rajasthan Royals batted the Royal Challengers out of the game. On a pitch that produced the highest run chase of this year’s IPL, Royal Challengers could only muster 136 chasing a gruesome 195/2 set up by Rajasthan Royals.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to bat. The Royals got off to a steady start with Rahane and Rahul Dravid adding 62 for the first wicket. But the carnage began after Dravid was dismissed. Rahane, joined by Owaish Shah took the Bangalore bowling to the cleaners as they made merry on a flat docile track.
The owner of the Orange cap, Rahane, raced to his first IPL hundred in just 58 balls and smashing 12 fours and five sixes. He hit six consecutive boundaries of Srinath Aravind to take the Rajasthan Royals into the fourth gear. Owaish Shah also joined the party and scored a magnificent 60 of 26 balls carting the ball to all parts of the ground. Shah, coming off a brilliant innings of 72 against Mumbai Indians, hit five fours and five sixes to propel the Royals to a huge score of 195. Rahane and Shah set the Chinnaswamy ablaze and entertained the crowd with a partnership of 121 runs in just eight overs.
Daniel Vettori and company suffered badly in the hands of Rahane and Shah, with the exception of Zaheer Khan. Where all the bowlers went for plenty, Khan came up with a superlative effort of conceding just 15 off his four overs.
Mayank Agarwal got the Royal Challengers off to a good start once again but this time couldn’t continue his charge beyond 34. Much was expected of Chris Gayle, but the big West Indian disappointed his fans as he walked back into the hut with only 8 against his name. Rajasthan Royals stuck to the basics and created pressure over the middle order that gave their wickets in trying to keep up with the asking rate. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary all lost their wickets in pursuit of quick runs.
The Royals bowlers, especially, Trivedi stuck to a plan and bowled a probing line. Trivedi emerged as the most successful bowler bagging four wickets. Pankaj Singh and Brad Hogg also played their parts in chipping away at the Challengers’ wickets.
Rajasthan Royals will be bouyed with their win here as it takes them to the top of the table before they take on the lack luster Chargers next up. But the loss poses big questions for Vettori’s men as they have given away almost 200 runs in back to back matches. As they take on the in form Pune Warriors, the men in Red will be looking to plug the leakages in their bowling department.
Rajasthan Royals 195/2
RCB 136 (19.5/20 ov)
Man of the Match: Ajinkya Rahane