Report: Match 14 – RR v RCB

Tambe four-for deflates Royal Challengers

By Harsh Kalan
Mumbai 26 April 2014
The Rajasthan Royals registered a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, after getting the opposition out for a measly 70. Aided by Pravin Tambe’s four-for, the Royals maintained a stranglehold on the RCB batters, who looked clueless on a track that turned out to be a bowler’s paradise. RR then successfully attained the target with six wickets in hand and seven overs to spare.

Earlier, Shane Watson chose to have first crack at the RCB batsmen upon winning the toss on a green Abu Dhabi track. The decision paid off almost immediately as Stuart Binny got rid of Yogesh Takawale (0) on the fourth ball of the innings. And then, Parthiv Patel (1) was run-out off the very next delivery, leaving RCB on one for two in the first over itself. The RR bowlers had their tails up, thanks to the early breakthroughs, and they made the situation worse for their opponents. Kane Richardson dismissed Yuvraj Singh off the first ball of the third over of the RCB innings (3). Richardson made it two in two when he cleaned up AB de Villiers (0) off the next ball he bowled.

At five for four, RCB were staring down the barrel and needed a valuable partnership to steer them out of trouble. Amidst the collapse, Virat Kohli was joined by Sachin Rana at the other end. And just when it seemed like the RCB skipper had found a reliable partner, Shane Watson sent him back to the dugout; Rana (3) was bowled out in the sixth over with the scorecard reading 17 for five. And 11 runs later, Kohli lost yet another ally in Albie Morkel (7); the middle-order batsman handed Steve Smith a skier off the bowling of Pravin Tambe.

Thereafter, Kohli and Mitchell Starc tried to dig RCB out of a hole. Despite all the pressure exerted by the RR bowlers, they struck the odd-boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking. However, Tambe halted their 18-run stand – the highest of the innings – with the big wicket of Kohli (21). Then, Starc (18) departed in Rajat Bhatia’s only over of the innings, leaving RCB on 62 for eight. Ravi Rampaul (13) and Ashok Dinda then added eight runs for the ninth wicket, until the former became Tambe’s third victim. And three balls later, the 42-year-old leg-spinner ended the RCB innings by trapping Dinda (0) leg-before.

Thanks to Tambe (4-0-20-4) and Richardson’s (4-0-18-2) efforts – which were complemented by the other five RR bowlers – the Royal Challengers could only manage a total of 70 runs by the time they were bowled out at the end of 15 overs.

RR’s response was fuelled by Ajinkya Rahane, who took charge of proceedings early on. The right-handed opener lashed out at any loose deliveries along with rotating the strike with Karun Nair. However, Rahane (23) departed with the RR score on 31 in the fifth over. Sanju Samson – the next man in – was then run-out in the next over. With a slight momentum shift, Starc returned to dismiss Nair (8) in the seventh over of the innings with the score on 36.

But despite these hiccups, there was no twist in this tale as Abhishek Nayar (8*) and Shane Watson (24) steadily chipped away at the target. And while Watson got out with his team three runs adrift of the target in the 13th over, Stuart Binny (3*) took RR over the line off the very next ball. The Royals ended up winning by a six-wicket margin with seven overs to spare.

Man of the Match: Pravin Tambe for his game-changing four-wicket haul
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