Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) secured a 7-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the thirty-third match of the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
RR skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first in the first IPL game of the day. Their decision to send in Robin Uthappa to open the innings paid rich dividends for them as he scored a quickfire 22-ball 41, which included 7 boundaries and a maximum.
This allowed the Royals to get off to a good start despite the loss of Ben Stokes, who was dismissed for a slow 19-ball 15 by Chris Morris. Sanju Samson could not make an impact on this game as he returned back for just 9 runs to his name.
Skipper Steve Smith took matters into his own hands post that as the Australian notched up a brilliant half-century. Jos Buttler was played out of position as he came in at the loss of three wickets and could manage only 24 off 25 deliveries.
Rahul Tewatia's cameo of 19 (11) along with Smith's 36-ball 57 helped the Royals post a competitive total of 177/6 in their twenty overs. As for the bowlers, Chris Morris continued his good form in the tournament as the Proteas all-rounder picked up a four-fer. Yuzvendra Chahal supported him well and finished with two wickets to his name.
Chasing 178 runs, the Bangalore outfit got off to a decent start. Aaron Finch scored 14 runs before Shreyas Gopal got the better of him. Devdutt Padikkal seemed a little rusty as he could not time the ball to perfection during his 37-ball 35. Virat Kohli played a crucial knock of 43(32) which kept the scoreboard ticking.
However, RR regained control of the match and RCB needed 35 runs off the last two overs but AB de Villiers weaved his magic in the IPL yet again as the South-African whacked Jaydev Unadkat for three consecutive maximums off the first three deliveries of the nineteenth over.
With 10 runs needed off the final over, Jofra Archer bowled some good deliveries first up which kept the batsmen restricted to singles and doubles but bowled one on the pads which was deposited into the stands by ABD, finishing the match off in a grand fashion. De Villiers finished with a magnificent unbeaten 22-ball 55 while Gurkeerat Singh Mann remained not out on 19(17).
In the second IPL encounter of the day, it was the Delhi Capitals (DC) who emerged victorious over the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 5 wickets at Sharjah. Following the trend in this IPL, MS Dhoni elected to bat first. The gamble to send in Sam Curran to open the innings failed miserably as he got out for a duck.
Faf du Plessis managed to stitch together a partnership with Shane Watson as the duo put up 87 runs. Watson scored a 28-ball 36 while du Plessis garnered 58 off 47 deliveries.
MS Dhoni failed to perform today as the veteran could score only 3 runs from his 5-ball stay at the crease. However, it was Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja who added the finishing touches to the CSK innings.
Jadeja scored a brisk 13-ball 33 while Rayudu remained unbeaten on 45 runs off 25 deliveries. Their contributions helped CSK put up 179 runs on the board for the loss of 4 wickets from their allotted quota of 20 overs.
Chasing 180 runs on a slow wicket, DC seemed to be in a tricky situation as they lost Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane within the powerplay itself, both of whom were sent packing by Deepak Chahar.
The onus of getting the Capitals over the line rested on the shoulders of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer and they did not disappoint as they put up a partnership of 68 runs for the fourth wicket.
Iyer was dismissed for a run-a-ball 23 by DJ Bravo off a slower delivery that enticed the DC skipper into playing a big shot but he ended up chipping it to du Plessis who was patrolling the long on fence.
Marcus Stoinis scored a 14-ball 24 but the star performer with the bat was Shikhar Dhawan, who was unfazed by the fall of wickets at the other end and racked up his maiden century in the IPL.
A few tight overs from Shardul Thakur and Sam Curran brought the equation down to 17 runs needed off the final over for the Capitals. The decision to give Ravindra Jadeja the twentieth over proved to be fatal as Axar Patel smoked him for three huge maximums and sealed the game in favour of the Capitals.
IPL 2020 Updated Points Table:
Surprisingly, the result of these games has not brought about much of a change in the IPL points table. The race between the Delhi Capitals and the Mumbai Indians for the top spot on the IPL table continues and the Capitals, having won seven out of their nine matches, reclaim the number one position.
However, we can surely expect a shake-up in the IPL leaderboard today with with two absolutely cracking contests waiting for us. The Sunrisers Hyderabad will lock horns with the Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi followed by a clash between the Mumbai Indians, now second on the IPL table, and the Kings XI Punjab at the Dubai.
Also see:- highest runs in IPL 2020Published 18 Oct 2020, 00:26 IST