The Royal Challengers climbed to the top of the table for IPL 2013 yet again with a comfortable 7-wicket win over the visiting Rajasthan Royals. An excellent performance from the seamers was complemented by some sensible batting for the hosts, with Chris Gayle hitting his first six of the innings off the last ball of the match, placating the crowd’s pleas. An anti-climax, perhaps, for what was expected from a Bangalore pitch, but a fantastic win nonetheless. Here are the best performers from the game.
Rudra Pratap Singh – Back with a bang
Key stats: Bowling figures - 4.0 – 0 – 13 – 3; Catches – 1
An excellent comeback performance from the IPL veteran after having had a couple of torrid outings in his last two. Better decision making, especially with respect to the length of his deliveries, and better control over them saw the pacer return his best figures of this year’s tournament thus far. A couple of tight overs at the start, and three wickets at the end to polish off the Rajasthan tail mean that RP Singh is now a serious contender for that purple cap!
Vinay Kumar – Top of the pile
Key stats: Bowling figures - 4.0 – 0 – 18 – 3
Speaking of the Purple Cap, it’s now back in Bangalore, at least for the time-being, with “Namma” Vinay Kumar delivering the goods for his side yet again. A high percentage of bouncers on an uncharacteristically slow-ish pitch at the Chinnaswamy helped Vinay to a three wicket haul himself, where he put paid to Brad Hodge and Stuart Binny at key times, before catching Sreesanth plumb to round off a good bowling performance.
Ravi Rampaul – Nailing down a spot
Key stats: Bowling figures – 3.4 - 1 – 19 – 2; Catches - 3
RCB’s new recruit carried on from his wonderful last delivery in the super over against the Daredevils with some nippy seamers and a jolly performance in the field. A magnet for the ball, fielding down the pitch, Rampaul snapped up all three chances that floated his way, making it an excellent all-round performance for the seamers. Two wickets to his name, including that of Watson in a maiden over, mean that there will be a pleasant selection headache for the Royal Challengers.
Chris Gayle - Yes, it really was him
Key stats: Batting figures: 49 off 44 (4 fours, 1 six)
An almost immovable name from this list, the man from the Caribbean played a very composed innings tonight, intent on seeing his team across the line. Situation awareness, in his own words, is key to doing well in this short format of the game, and boy did he back it up well with some rare sprints across the pitch for (relatively) tight singles and some glances off the leg which the crowd might not have enjoyed the most. A hero for pacing the team’s innings, and for smashing that six which sent the crowd home super happy on a Saturday night.