Opener Chris Gayle struck an unbeaten 49 to complement an impressive display by his bowling colleagues as Royal Challengers Bangalore scored an easy seven—wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in their Pepsi IPL match here on Saturday.
RCB captain Virat Kohli sent the opposition in after winning the toss and his bowlers responded brilliantly by dismissing the Royals for just 117 in 19.4 overs on a Chinnaswamy track which appeared to be batting—friendly.
Pacers R P Singh (3/13), R Vinay Kumar (3/18) and Ravi Rampual (2/19) did most of the damage during the Royals innings as the visitors slumped to their lowest total in this IPL season so far.
The home side stuttered for a while in their chase with three wickets falling in quick succession before overhauling the small target easily with 13 balls to spare as they reached 123 for three in 17.5 overs to hand the Royals their second loss in six games.
Gayle ended the match in style with a huge six to remain not out on 49 which he made from 44 balls.
With today’s win, which put brakes on the fine run of the Royals in the tournament, the RCB jumped to joint top with Sunrisers Hyderabad with 10 points from seven matches while the Royals remained on eight points from six matches.
Gayle played a sensible innings to anchor RCB to victory after in—form batsmen Virat Kohli (1) and A B de Villiers (7) were out cheaply. He curbed his aggressive instinct and hit just four fours and a six in his knock.
Young Saurabh Tiwary gave an able company to his senior partner with a 29—ball unbeaten 25 as the duo stitched 59 runs from 8.5 overs for the unbroken fourth wicket.
RCB began the chase on a solid note with Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan (25) putting on 53 runs before it was broken in the seventh over. Shane Watson induced an edge to Dilshan’s bat for Arun Karthik to take an easy catch behind the wicket. Dilshan’s 25 from 22 balls contained five boundaries.
The home side stuttered for a while with Kohli out for a paltry score after a long time as James Faulkner’s slow delivery in the next over took the edge of RCB captain’s bat before crashing into the wickets.
Another in—form batsman A.B de Villiers followed his captain to the dressing room eight balls later with Ajit Chandila diving to his left to take a fine low catch at mid off to hand Watson his second wicket of the day.
RCB lost momentum after the three quick wickets but still well—placed at 67 for three at the half—way mark with the asking rate just just over five an over from the remaining 10 overs.
Tiwary struck a six off Chandila in the 15th over to take RCB past 100 mark and then Gayle ended the chase with a towering six off Siddharth Trivedi.
Earlier, the Royals succumbed to an impressive bowling display by RCB as they were shot out for 117 in 19.4 overs.
The Royals had the worst possible start as opener Shane Watson (6) and Ajinkya Rahane (14) were sent packing with just 26 runs on the board. Dravid (35 off 31 balls), however, steadied the innings with Stuart Binny (33 off 20 balls) with a 40—run stand for the third wicket from 9.5 overs.
The visitors, however, failed to maintain as they suffered a batting collapse in the second part of their innings. The visitors lost wickets in quick succession and from 97 for three in the 15th over, they were reduced 112 for eight in 18 overs and then were all out for 117 in 19.4 overs.
The Royals suffered a jolt when Dravid could not time a lofted shot and was holed out to Ravi Rampaul at long on in the 15th over. Dravid hit five boundaries in his 31—ball knock and the Royals were 97 for four when he was out.
Dravid’s wicket triggered a batting collapse as Hodge (13 off 17 balls) edged one to wicket—keeper Arun Karthik off Vinay Kumar soon after.
James Faulkner (3), Dishant Yagnik (5), S Sreesanth (0), Shaun Tait (1) and Siddharth Trivedi (3) could not do much as RP Singh and Vinay Kumar got wickets in quick succession.
Jadeja is Super Kings’ shining Knight
Ravindra Jadeja set off the fireworks just when Chennai Super Kings needed them most. The all-rounder showed guts and gumption to hit a flurry of boundaries and sixes to give Super Kings a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Jadeja, one of the costliest acquisitions of the Chennai franchise, was the most outstanding player of the day outshining everyone with both the bat and the ball. Jadeja picked up three wickets to restrict the host to 119 for nine before he resurrected the CSK innings with an unbeaten 36 off just 14 balls, just when it appeared to be drifting off course.
Replying to a modest target of 120 Chennai Super Kings failed to start well after promoting R. Ashwin to partner opener Michael Hussey. The King’s plan was foiled by the KKR’s Sunil Narine as Ashwin was caught in the midwicket when he failed to read the ‘magic’ West Indian off-break bowler.
The wicket in the fifth over gave the host the required impetus as Murali Vijay (2), who came after Ashwin, was declared leg-before trying to sweep Sri Lankan Sachitra Senanayake, who operated in tandem with Narine. Suresh Raina (7) and the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9) failed to justify their reputation in the King’s middle order. Raina was caught near the rope as he tried to loft Yusuf Pathan while Dhoni, who is always eager for quick runs was run-out on the non-striker’s by a diving effort from Morgan.
As Hussey (40) and S. Badrinath (6) departed next, putting the visitor in bigger trouble at 89 for six, Jadeja came in to the rescue and singlehandedly took the Super Kings out of the woods.
Earlier, an outstanding effort from the veteran Michael Hussey changed the course of action in favour of CSK when the hosts started on an explosive note.
The 37-year-old Australian batsman camp up with a for a diving catch running in a few paces in the third man when the KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir was going great guns. Gambhir’s departure broke the spine and KKR crumbled like a castle of cards as CKS bowling gained in sharpness following that superlative effort from Hussey.
The host began on a brisk note promoting the otherwise explosive Yusuf Pathan, who has had a docile run so far in the tournament, to open. The host dropped off-colour opener Manvinder Bisla bringing in all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla. The KKR opening pair dominated the first five overs where Gambhir-Pathan pair struck eight boundaries. The moment Gambhir departed in the sixth over trying to find the ropes with a mighty slice on a rising delivery from pacer Chris Morris, the KKR batting lost its foundation.
The host lost its best batsmen in next two overs as Jacques Kallis(0) and Eoin Morgan (2) walked back to the dug-out. Kallis was run out by a brilliantly by S. Badrinath, who hit the stumps from an acute angle from the backward point.
Morgan was scalped by a slower one from bravo. The host batting had lost its sheen by the eighth over before the spinners — Ashwin and Jadeja — came in to demolish the host’s batting completely. Jadeja picked up three and Aswin scalped two as the Eden wicket gave them good assistance and KKR fell to their guile.