IPL 2021: Top 3 bowling performances in RCB vs RR matches

Renin Wilben Albert

The 16th match of IPL 2021 will see Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) taking on Rajasthan Royals (RR) tonight. The match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) featured in a high-scoring thriller on Wednesday.

RCB and RR have been like chalk and cheese in IPL 2021 thus far. Virat Kohli’s team are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, having registered wins over Mumbai Indians (MI), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). RCB have been impressive in all departments of the game.

Meanwhile, RR have had a disappointing campaign so far. While they managed to get the better of Delhi Capitals (DC) on the back of some good death hitting, RR went down to Punjab Kings (PBKS) and, more recently, got hammered by CSK.

The head-to-head numbers for RCB and RR are pretty evenly matched, with both teams winning ten times apiece. However, RCB got the better of RR both times last season.

As the teams seek to renew acquaintances in Mumbai tonight, let's take a look at the three most memorable bowling efforts in RCB vs RR matches over the years.

#3 Pravin Tambe (RR) 4 for 20 - IPL 2014 (in Abu Dhabi)

Pravin Tambe
Pravin Tambe

At the age of 42, most players are a few years into their retirements. Some take up commentary, while others go into coaching. However, leg-spinner Pravin Tambe proved that age is just a number by bowling a match-winning spell for RR against RCB.

Tambe claimed 4 for 20 in an IPL 2014 match in Abu Dhabi. RR bowled first after winning the toss, and Tambe had RCB in a spin, rolling them over for an embarrassing 70 in 15 overs.

His first wicket was that of Albie Morkel (7), who tried to launch a ball down the ground but only managed to find mid-off. Tambe next got the big scalp of RCB captain Virat Kohli (21). The right-hander guided a short ball straight into the hands of midwicket.

Ravi Rampaul (13) toe-ended one to cover, while Ashok Dinda (0) was trapped in front of the stumps with a googly. Kane Richardson also chipped in with two wickets as RR bowlers were all over RCB.

RR lost four wickets in their chase of 71, but Ajinkya Rahane (23) and captain Shane Watson (24) made decent contributions to ensure RR did not slip up.

#2 Shreyas Gopal (RR) 4 for 16 - IPL 2018 (in Jaipur)

Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal

RR leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal did the star turn for his team who beat RCB by 30 runs in a match in Jaipur during the IPL's 2018 edition. Gopal claimed 4 for 16 as RR restricted RCB to 134 in a chase of 165.

Gopal first sent back the well-set Parthiv Patel for 33 off 21 balls. The batsman dragged his back foot out of the crease during an attempted pull and was smartly stumped. Moeen Ali (1) then chipped a googly back to the bowler.

Mandeep Singh (3) ran down the track and was stumped after being beaten in the flight. RCB’s hopes now rested on AB de Villiers, but he too was deceived by a sharp googly and was stumped for a well-compiled 53.

Gopal’s brilliance was backed up by Ben Laughlin and Jaydev Unadkat, who picked up two scalps apiece. Krishnappa Gowtham got the big wicket of Virat Kohli, cleaning up the RCB captain for 4.

Earlier, RR opener Rahul Tripathi smashed an unbeaten 80 off 58 balls as the team posted 164 for 5. Umesh Yadav’s three-for ensured RCB were in the game before Gopal’s brilliance blew them away.

#1 Anil Kumble (RCB) 5 for 5 - IPL 2009 (Cape Town)

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble

Irrespective of the format or the team he played for, legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble remained competitive right throughout his playing career. Few would have been surprised when Kumble turned out for RCB in an IPL 2009 encounter in Cape Town and ran through the RR batting line-up.

RR were set a very attainable 134 for victory, but all they managed was 58 in 15.1 overs. Kumble had extraordinary figures of 5 for 5 in 3.1 overs, running through the RR middle and lower order. He began 'mission demolition' by having Yusuf Pathan (11) caught at long-off with a short ball.

Ravindra Jadeja (11) was the next man to fall, caught on the boundary while attempting a slog-sweep. Anil Kumble then gave spin wizard Shane Warne a dose of his own medicine, having the RR captain stumped for 3 with a googly.

Munaf Patel (0) was caught at long-on, going for a wild swing, while Kamran Khan (3) was caught behind off a tossed-up delivery as Kumble completed his five-for. Apart from Kumble, Jesse Ryder and Praveen Kumar also claimed two wickets apiece as RCB’s bowling dominated proceedings on the night.

Earlier, RCB’s competitive total of 133 for 8 was built around a quality knock of 66 off 48 balls from their captain Rahul Dravid. Kumble then turned a fighting total into a match-winning one with an incredible spell of spin bowling.

Edited by Bhargav
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