Rajasthan Royals 177/9 (20 ov)
Royal Challengers Bangalore 181/0 (16.3 ov)
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 10 wickets
Player of the match: Devdutt Padikkal
So that was that from match no. 16  as RCB crushed RR to nicely set up an epic Sunday clash with Chennai Super Kings, in a fight for the top of the table honours. RCB have had a fairy tale run so far. However, the scariest part is that they haven't hit their straps fully, yet. Thus, opposition teams should be on a perpetual vigil as the 'Ee Saala Cup Namde' locomotive charges with full steam.

Until next time, this is Abhinav Singh and my partner Shashwat Kumar signing off. Do tune into Sportskeeda for all the live sporting action as the sporting madness ceases to end here! Good night, stay safe and everyone over 18, enrol for the vaccine as soon as the registration opens! GOOD NIGHT!
Virat Kohli (winning skipper): It was an outstanding innings. He had batted well for his first season last time. He picked the right areas. He is a tall man and can flick and pull the ball comfortably. The T20 cricket is all about partnership batting. You can not always be dominant in the inning. Sometimes I'll get off the mark and he will rotate the strike. I think Dev's inning was the game-changer. My role was clear to hold one end after the third over. We spoke about it and he told me to finish off the chase. I told him to get to it first (the hundred). He (Devdutt) said many will come. I said, yeah, you can say that after you get the first one. He deserved to get a hundred, a strike rate of 200 and some flawless hitting. We don't have many standout names in bowling but they are effective. We don't want to be a side with superstars. These guys are professionals who have done their job in the first four matches. Huge credit goes to the bowlers. We are taking one game at time. It is a good start but we are taking one game at a time. There is nothing to be overexcited to be about. We're professionals and moving well in the right direction.

Devdutt Padikkal: All I could do was wait for my turn. When I was down with COVID, all I wanted to do was come out and contribute to the team. To be honest, the ball was coming on to the bat easily. As the innings progressed, the pitch became better and better. When you get into a partnership like that, it helps as runs come from both ends. Not really, that's what I was telling Virat to go for it. For me it's not about getting to a hundred, I wouldn't mind missing out on hundreds as long as I contribute to the team's wins. Throughout the inning there were times when he was going well and some times I was going well. We click well 
Sanju Samson (losing skipper): They batted really well. We came back really well and batsmen did well to put the score on board. I think we need to go back home and do some homework We need to come back stronger for the next game. The reason I think we need to go back and find some answers. This is what this sport is all about, it puts you down but you have to keep coming back.

Glenn Maxwell: That was the favourite game of the year for me (laughs on not having to bowl and bat). It was a clinical display from the batsmen. I was certainly looking forward to getting down in the middle. They both were on the top from the start. I suppose we still haven't played our best game. We still haven't bowled well today, after being four down, we let them get to 180 odd. I am not sure, I haven't done any work with him (on teaching Devdutt the reverse sweep). But he stroked a few of them well. Its been nice to have some responsibility on and off the field and contribute with the bat in hand. 
RCB win by 10 wickets with 21 balls to spare

The DEMOLITION JOB has been done. RCB have coasted to a fourth consecutive victory at the start of the tournament for the first time in the franchise's illustrious history. The sub-par target of 178 was never going to be enough against the mighty batting line up of RCB but what happened in the chase was something that even die-hard RCB fans could not have scripted.

Devdutt Padikkal, the stylish Karnataka southpaw was in his elements from the beginning and got off the blocks in tachyon like speed, stroking the RR bowlers to all parts of the park with relative ease and without taking any undue risk. His batting partner at the other end, Virat Kohli was simply a spectator who played the second fiddle to him. 

DP reached his fifty in 27 balls and marauded the bowlers with his efficient strokeplay. However, Kohli, who had been subdued up until this point, changes the gears quickly and came to the party as well. The RCB skipper was especially severe on Shreyas Gopal who was touted as his antidote before the start of the match, owning to the fact that he had taken his wicket three times in six innings in the past. 

Kohli also reached his fifty in 33 balls, despite starting slow by his own high standards. Afterwards, the Delhi lad played the ball around the ground as he allowed Devdutt to reach his well-deserved century. In the end, the two RCB batsmen made a mockery of the chase and hunted down the target without losing a single wicket. Surely, it must have given a huge fillip to the run-rate as RCB sit comfortably on top of the points table. 

A complete performance from RCB and the team management will be happy with the way this team is shaping out to be. If RCB continue to work in tandem like this, they might very well go the distance and lay their hands on the coveted trophy that has eluded them for some eons now.
16.4 Mustafizur Rahman to Devdutt Padikkal, FIVE WIDES! APT END TO A DREADFUL RR DISPLAY! Low full toss that is speared down the leg side. Padikkal does not make contact and the keeper can't gather too, meaning that RCB coast to their fourth consecutive victory in IPL 2021! Ee Sala Cup Namde? 
16.3 Mustafizur Rahman to Virat Kohli, slower delivery on a length on middle and off stump. Kohli gets onto the front foot and drops the ball into the off side before scampering across to the other end. 2 runs required now!
16.2 Mustafizur Rahman to Devdutt Padikkal, low full toss angled into the batsman on leg stump. Padikkal plays all around it and sees the ball deflect off the pads into the off side. RR review, for some reason! Should be going miles down the leg side! 

There is no bat involved! But, of course, the ball is sliding well beyond leg stump! In fact, even the impact is outside leg stump! Just a bit of time-wasting from RR! trying to delay the inevitable
16.1 Mustafizur Rahman to Devdutt Padikkal, FOUR! HUNDRED FOR PADIKKAL! Length delivery outside off stump. Padikkal backs away, gives himself a bit of room and absolutely creams that one past extra cover for a boundary! Maiden IPL century! And, it could be the first of many! This RCB batting line up is looking perilously dangerous for other teams in the tournament now!
Mustafizur Rahman [3-0-24-0] to bowl his final over

Devdutt Padikkal is nearing his century and Kohli has started working the ball around to allow his partner to reach the all-important milestone. He is three runs away from it. 8 required from 24 balls. This should be the final over of the match
Over: 16 | Summary: 1 4 1 1 1 0 Bowler: Chetan Sakariya Score: 170/0
15.6 Chetan Sakariya to Virat Kohli, back of a length delivery on middle and leg stump. Kohli takes a step down the track and looks to access the leg side but plays all around it as the ball thuds into the thigh pad
15.5 Chetan Sakariya to Devdutt Padikkal, low full toss on middle and leg stump. Padikkal goes deep into his crease and shovels that one towards deep mid wicket for a single
15.4 Chetan Sakariya to Virat Kohli, slower delivery on a length just outside off stump. Kohli waits in his crease and dabs the ball towards the fielder at short third man for a single
This is now the highest first wicket partnership for RCB
15.3 Chetan Sakariya to Devdutt Padikkal, excellent yorker on leg stump. Padikkal gets his front foot out of the way and squeezes the ball out towards deep mid wicket for  a single
15.2 Chetan Sakariya to Devdutt Padikkal, EDGED AND FOUR! Length delivery outside off stump and Padikkal has a mighty hoick at that one. He gets a thick outside edge that flies over short third man for four! Moves to 95!
15.1 Chetan Sakariya to Virat Kohli, slower delivery on a length outside off stump. Kohli gets down the track and punches that one powerfully towards deep point for a single. Right then Mr. Padikkal, over to you, get that century!
Chetan Sakariya [3-0-27-0] is introduced into the attack after the break
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