A century partnership between skipper Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell helped Royal Challengers Bangalore win their Indian Premier League match in Bengaluru on Sunday, despite a late Rajasthan Royals revival that was sparked by a cameo from Dhruv Jurel.
RCB scored 189 for 9 in 20 overs after being given the opportunity to bat. Fafdu Plessis (62 off 39 balls) and Maxwell (77 off 44 balls) made a 127-runpartnership for the third wicket off 66 deliveries. Despite a 98-run partnership for the second wicket between Devdutt Padikkal (52 off 34 balls) and Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Royals were trailing in the run chase before picking up steam in the final five overs.
As the Royals scored 61 runs off the final five overs while losing three wickets, Jurel had a brief cameo with 34 runs off just 16 balls (2×4; 2×6). However, they only managed to score 182 for 6 in 20 overs, falling short by seven runs in the end.
The Royals, therefore, suffered their third loss in seven games, but because of a higher net run rate (0.844), they continued to lead the points standings.
The best bowler for the RCB was Harshal Patel (4-0-32-3), while David Willey (4-0-26-1) and Mohammed Siraj (4-0-39-1) also kept RR struggling.
When Siraj delivered a nip-backer to beat the dangerous Jos Buttler’s defense and clean him up for a two-ball duck in the first over, RCB struck a significant blow to RR.
Following RR’s placement at 47 for 1, Padikkal’s opening partner Jaiswal displayed some incredible strokes throughout the powerplay.
When Padikkal and Jaiswal both died quickly after one another, RR was also unable to draw a line since Willey was keeping things close.
Patel earned the advantage in the 14th over when he held RR at bay and prevented Jaiswal from reaching fifty, as the batsman shot a sluggish full toss straight to Kohli at long-on. Sanju Samson (22) was caught by Shahbaz Ahmed in the 16th over, when Patel struck again, dropping RR to 125 for 4.
Shimron Hetmyer struggled, managing only three runs from nine deliveries before being run out at extra cover by Suyash Prabhudessai’s excellent direct hit.
The Royals’ bowlers performed well in the final five overs as they controlled the situation with a focused effort of lowering the run rate and caused two run-outs. However, neither Plessis nor Maxwell, who batted with ease, had no trouble facing any of the Royals bowlers.
The two batsmen teamed up when Royals pacer Trent Boult (2/41) shook RCB early twice in his first two overs, putting them in a vulnerable position. Boult gave RR the perfect start when he bowled the first ball of the match and took out Virat Kohli (0) in front of the wickets, marking his 100th IPL wicket overall.
Despite best efforts by Rajasthan, at the end RCB had the last laugh as 20 runs were needed in last over but RR was only able to score 12.