April 21, 2013 2:41:24 am
Before the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals started,it was clear that the winner would move to the top of the table. Despite the billing,Rajasthan’s batting collapse and Bangalore’s (for once) sensible chase meant the home side won with seven wickets to spare.
Both teams had made a few changes for the encounter,and the match was more or less decided by the contribution of these substitutes. Bangalore,who had suffered from a brittle middle order in their recent games,reinforced their batting with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Saurabh Tiwary while Rajasthan brought in Shaun Tait and Sreesanth.
However,the changes were to play a part only in the second half of the match. Virat Kohli inserted Rajasthan and was justified in his decision as the visitors struggled to get off to a start. Shane Watson got the first ball off to a boundary but was dismissed trying a lofted drive off Ravi Rampaul in the third over. Ajinkya Rahane,a batting anchor for Rajasthan so far,sliced Jaidev Unadkat’s slower one to Dilshan at point. At the end of the power play overs,Rajasthan were 31/2,having lost the openers.
Rahul Dravid struggled to find the boundary early on,but the pressure was eased by Stuart Binny at the other end. The all-rounder raced to a 20 ball 33 and did not allow the fall of the big guns to bog Rajasthan down. The score was 66/3 after 10 overs.
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There followed a period of consolidation,when Dravid and Brad Hodge came together. Hodge attempted to get his eye in while Dravid began to up his strike rate. From 15 runs off 20 balls,the Rajasthan skipper made 20 off the next 10 balls he faced but fell clipping Murali Karthik to long on.
From 97/3 in 14.3 overs,Rajasthan’s innings unwound. Vinay Kumar and RP Singh ran through the lower order,picking up three wickets each. Rajasthan lost their last seven wickets for 20 runs.
The target of 118 was not going to be too demanding,especially after Bangalore’s start. Dilshan and Chris Gayle added 53 runs in 6.4 overs before the Sri Lankan was dismissed caught behind off Watson. Then Rajasthan briefly came back into the game,when James Faulkner bowled Kohli off a slower ball and Watson dismissed AB de Villers,as three wickets fell in 15 balls.
Chris Gayle (49* off 44) and Tiwary’s (25 off 29 balls) risk free approach meant Bangalore did not panic in the chase. In between,right when things were getting a bit tight,Tait bowled a profilgate 11th over which released the pressure. He went for 30 runs off his three overs while Sreesanth sent down just one,going for nine. That and a cautious Gayle put Bangalore on top of the table.
Briefscores: Rajasthan 117 all out in 19.4 overs (Dravid 35,Binny 33; RP 3/13,Vinay 3/18) lost to Bangalore 123/3 in 17.5 overs (Gayle 49*,Tiwary 25*; Watson 2/11)
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