RCB and RR have had very contrasting campaigns in IPL 2021 so far. While Virat Kohli’s men are unbeaten in the tournament, winning all their three games, RR have endured losses in two of their three matches.
In their most recent encounter, RCB trounced Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 38 runs, dominating the two-time champions with both bat and ball. Meanwhile, RR were shoddy against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their last outing, going down by 45 runs.
The head-to-head numbers prove how closely matched the two sides have been over the years. Both RCB and RR have won ten matches apiece, while three games produced no result. RCB did the double over RR last season.
As RCB and RR get ready to renew acquaintances tonight, let’s take a look at three of the top batting performances in contests between the two teams over the years.
#3 AB de Villiers (RCB) 55 not out off 22 - IPL 2020 (in Dubai)
RCB’s batting superstar AB de Villiers is renowned for playing blinders in the IPL. One of his many spectacular game-changing knocks came against RR in Dubai last season.
Chasing 178, RCB dug themselves into a hole; despite having seven wickets in hand, they needed 35 runs off the last two overs. ABD blasted Jaydev Unadkat for three consecutive sixes in the 19th over to make the chase a breeze in the end, though.
Unadkat was too predictable with his line and was punished brutally by De Villiers. The first ball of the 19th over was clobbered over midwicket; the second was clubbed over wide long-on, while the third was smashed over square leg. 25 runs came off the 19th over as De Villiers turned yet another contest on its head.
De Villiers finished off the match in style, lofting Jofra Archer for a six over deep midwicket. The South African legend ended unbeaten on 55 off only 22 balls as RCB got the better of RR by seven wickets. RCB captain Virat Kohli and opener Devdutt Padikkal contributed 43 and 35 respectively in the chase.
For RR, Steve Smith hit 57 off 36, while Robin Uthappa blasted 41 off 22. However, a four-wicket haul from Chris Morris kept the 2008 champions down to 177 for 6, after which De Villiers’ magic took RCB home.
#2 Sanju Samson (RR) 92 not out off 45 - IPL 2018 (in Bengaluru)
With Sanju Samson, it has always been a case of all or nothing. He has begun IPL 2021 in a similar fashion, with one destructive knock followed by two failures.
During the 2018 edition of the competition, he played a scintillating innings of 92 not out off only 45 balls as RR trumped RCB by 19 runs. The standout feature of Samson’s knock that day was the ten sixes he hit apart from two fours.
Samson’s incredible knock saw RR post a massive total of 217 for 4, batting first. Umesh Yadav was hammered for 59 runs in his four overs, while Kulwant Khejroliya conceded 40 in his three, and Chris Woakes 47 in four.
For RCB, captain Kohli hit 57 off 30 in the chase, while Mandeep Singh remained unbeaten on 47 off 25. Shreyas Gopal, though, picked up the wickets of Kohli and AB de Villiers (20), conceding only 22 in his four overs, to stall RCB, who fell short by 19 runs.
#1 Ajinkya Rahane (RR) 103 not out off 60 - IPL 2012 (in Bengaluru)
Ajinkya Rahane struck a magnificent hundred in RR’s impressive 59-run triumph over RCB in Bengaluru during the 2012 edition of the IPL. RR won the toss and batted first, after which Rahane went berserk.
Opening the innings, Rahane struck 12 fours and five sixes in his wonderful innings of 103 not out, which came off only 60 balls. Courtesy the RR opener’s brilliance, the team ended up scoring an impressive 195 for 2 in their twenty overs.
Apart from Rahane, Owais Shah also played a whirlwind knock, blazing away to 60 off only 26 balls. Shah hit five fours and as many sixes during his innings. Among RCB bowlers, Vinay Kumar conceded 51 in his four overs, while Sreenath Aravind was taken for 48 in his three.
In response, RR's Siddharth Trivedi claimed 4 for 25, while Pankaj Singh and Amit Singh picked up two wickets apiece. Brad Hogg also maintained a tight leash over RCB, taking 1 for 19 in his four overs.
RCB could never get going in their chase and folded up for 136 runs in 19.5 overs. Mayank Agarwal (34) was the only RCB batsman to cross the 30-run mark.