Royal Challengers Bangalore 151 for 1 beat Rajasthan Royals 146 for 6 by nine wickets
Man of the match: S. Aravind
The Rajasthan Royals were completely outclassed by their much superior opponents, Royal Challengers Bangalore, as Daniel Vettori’s men outdid Shane Warne’s struggling army. First, the Rajasthan’s batsmen undid the good work of their openers Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid to end with a disappointing 146 for 6 and then their bowlers also struggled against the in form trio of Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Virat Kohli as the batting side effortlessly got past the winning mark. Rajasthan’s fielding also let them down as they dropped crucial catches. In short, it turned out to be a totally one sided match.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bowling was led by S Aravind, who was highly effective with his variations. In contrast, Rajasthan’s bowling was well below par against the rampaging Bangalore batsmen on a surface will clearly suited the latter side. The massive nine-wicket victory meant that Bangalore now need only one more win to assure their qualification into the next round. On the other hand, Shane Warne’s Rajasthan will need nothing less than a miracle to go through following another big loss.
The only time Rajasthan looked in control was when their openers Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson got them off to a solid start yet again. The dependable duo added 73 from 57 balls. Unfortunately, both the openers were dismissed in the space of three balls, both falling to Aravind, and the others couldn’t do much to repair the damage. On the other hand, Dilshan and Gayle slammed 68 from 40 deliveries before a great catch from Ross Taylor broke the partnership.
However, by the time Dilshan was dismissed, Bangalore were well in control of the game and, unlike Rajasthan, they did not throw away the great start given by their openers. Gayle’s knock silenced the Jaipur crowd very soon as their realised where their team was heading for rather soon. Gayle slammed an unbeaten 70, which means now he needs a mere 27 runs to claim the orange cap from Virender Sehwag, who has ruled himself out of the tournament to go in for his much delayed surgery.
Bangalore had raced to 38 when Warne put down Gayle at mid-off. That was possibly Rajasthan’s best chance to dismiss Gayle. He hardly offered any chances thereafter as he and Dilshan went about hammering the Rajasthan bowlers. All the first four overs of the innings went for over 10 runs an over as Bangalore were clearly underway.
Earlier, it was S Aravind’s three wicket haul that prevented Rajasthan from setting a challenging total despite an impressive start. Dravid and Watson had added 73 when Aravind got rid of both the openers in the 10th over. Aravind later returned to get the wicket of Johan Botha, who has played some crucial knocks in the IPL, to make sure that Rajasthan got no momentum going into the final overs.
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