AB, Dilshan power RCB to victory
An extraordinary batting assault led by AB de Villiers and Tillekeratne Dilshan and an inspired bowling performance by the left-arm spinner KP Appanna propelled the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 46-run victory over the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
Bangalore looked destined for a mediocre total after they moved to 67 for three in the 11th over.
The arrival of De Villiers sparked a batting revival and Dilshan and De Villiers powered them to 189 for three after bludgeoning 122 off 52 balls for the fourth wicket.
Rajasthan could only manage 143 for seven in reply.
AB slammed 59 off 23 deliveries, with three fours and fixe sixes. His half-century came off 19 balls, the second-fastest in this season’s IPL.
Dilshan finished with 76 off 58 balls, with ten fours and a six.
Rahul Dravid steered Rajasthan to 56 without loss after seven overs in pursuit of the target of 190.
But Appanna captured 4-19 and rocked the top- and middle-order.
He turned the ball appreciably and generated bounce as they slipped to 90 for four in the 14th over.
Brad Hodge (10) and Kevon Cooper (8) perished in their desperate attempts to revive the run-rate by seeking the boundary ropes and the pavilion.
Clever slower bowling by Daniel Vettori and Zaheer Khan denied them.
Dravid was the senior partner in an unbroken opening stand of 48 runs during the first six overs as Rajasthan started impressively.
He made R Vinay Kumar look ordinary as he smashed three fours in his third over.
Ajinkya Rahane and Dravid added 56 runs for the first wicket.
The introduction of Appanna saw Rajasthan plummet and Bangalore sore.
He had Rahane caught at long on for 13 in the eighth over.
Dravid took the fight to the bowlers and maintained his impressive strike-rate, completing his half-century off 34 balls.
But Appanna’s three wickets in seven deliveries put Bangalore in complete control.
He had Owais Shah stumped by De Villiers when Shah waltzed down the wicket and was beaten by the flight with his score on ten.
Four deliveries later, Shreevats Goswami tried an expansive sweep, top-edged it to deep midwicket, and perished for one.
Dravid was beaten in flight and caught at cover by Dilshan in Appanna’s next over as Rajasthan slipped to 91 for four in the 14th over.
Dravid scored 58 off 42 balls, with eight boundaries.
With the run-rate escalating to more than 14 runs per over, the Rajasthan middle-order virtually had no time to adjust to conditions. They had to hit boundaries or depart.
They mostly did the latter or failed to get going against clever bowling.
Vettori boasted impressive figures of 0-20 in four overs.
Khan captured 1-30 in four overs.
The Bangalore-innings lacked the fluency during the first ten overs as Ajit Chandila, Cooper and Pankaj Singh applied the brakes.
Singh removed Virat Kohli for 16 in the fourth over as Bangalore slumped to 26 for one.
A double-strike by the Australian legspinner Brad Hogg reduced Bangalore to 67 for three in the 11th over.
His high-profile victims were Mayank Agarwal (15) and Chris Gayle (4).
But once De Villiers strolled to the crease, he changed the complexion of the match as he and Dilshan reigned supreme.
De Villiers and Dilshan added 50 off 22 balls, and hit 53 runs in the final three overs as they put Siddharth Trivedi and Cooper to the sword.
Chandiwal was the best of the bowlers with 0-29 in four overs.
Singh took 1-32 in four overs.
Trivedi finished with 0-44 from his four overs.
Hogg managed 2-39 in four overs after initially bamboozling the top-order.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid (capt), Sreevats Goswami (wk), Owais Shah, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Siddharth Trivedi, Pankaj Singh, Ajit Chandila.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Tillekaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Daniel Vettori (capt), R Vinay Kumar, KP Appanna, Zaheer Khan, HV Patel.