Huge win for RCB against Rajasthan

Dubai: Royal Challengers Bangalore dished out a clinical display with both bat and ball to record a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royalsin the Indian Premier League in Dubai on Wednesday, boosting their prospects of a top-two finish.

Chasing 150, RCB completed the task with as many as 17 balls to spare. Star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell blazed away to an unbeaten 50 off just 30 balls, while KS Bharat played sensibly for his 44 off 35 deliveries. RCB needed 71 runs in the back 10 after the RR bowlers checked the flow of runs following the dismissals of Virat Kohli (25) and Devdutt Padikkal (22).

Kohli and Padikkal gave the team a brisk start as RCB scored nine runs per over in the power play.

Earlier, RCB staged an excellent comeback as Rajasthan Royals blew away a blistering start to finish at 149 for nine. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (2/10) and leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal (2/18) triggered the slide after RR were cruising at 100 for one in the 11th over.

Virat Kohli, RCB captain said, We have come back strongly in two games back-to-back with the ball which is a great sign. In T20 cricket if you can hold nerve with the ball, it means you are heading in the right direction. We came back and dominated. 175 would have been competitive, it still was a very good wicket to bat on. With the kind of bowling attack that we have, we need a couple of breakthroughs and things will open up. We knew if we held to our patience, we’ll get mistakes from the batsmen and that’s what happened but they were forced mistakes. Evin Lewis’s wicket was the game-changing moment. Garton did really well in his first game, he was composed enough to pitch the ball in the right area. We have gotten the rewards because we have been confident and fearless. That’s been the USP of our team in the last two games. Through the middle overs, our bowling has been amazing. With the bat as well, we have been getting good opening starts which gives a lot of balance to the team. That’s been the focus with Dev and myself – to get good starts. Everything is coming along nicely and people are making contributions at the right time. We were blown away completely in game one, we took it as a positive. You need to be up with the pace of the tournament. We are getting into the groove at the right stage of the tournament.
RCB player Maxwell said, ‘I thought we played really well. They got off to an absolute flier and to bring them back in the last 10 overs was outstanding, then we controlled the tempo of the innings and finished it off. I have felt good since coming here, got myself into a nice routine at training and outside of training as well, just feel like it is really clicking for me. I don’t suppose it (the atmosphere) is different to any other franchise, just what we have created as a group. It is nice to have a bunch of guys doing different things and not relying on one guy. Everyone is chipping in and it has been a really enjoyable group so far. I wouldn’t call it an experiment, he’s (Bharat) a genuine top-class batter and the way he has gone about his innings is outstanding.’
Sanju Samson, Rajasthan Royals captain, said, ‘We got a really good start, our openers played really well, but we couldn’t capitalize on it. Think the middle-order needs some confidence, it has been a hard one week for us, we need to put up a good fight. The wicket was a bit two paced, so the batters couldn’t time the ball properly, they kept mistiming it. I’m happy with the intent put in by the bowlers. We don’t have anything to lose and that gives a lot of freedom to go out and express ourselves. Funny things can happen in IPL, we need to keep believing till the last match we play.’