With a 30–run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Rajasthan Royals have kept themselves in the reckoning for a place in the Playoffs.
While the Rahul Tripathi-led lineup set up the match for the home team with a 164-run total, the spinners bowled RCB out for 134. The opener held up one end with his unbeaten 80-run knock, while his partners took on the bowlers. After Rahane helped lay a platform for a par score, Heinrich Klaasen upped the ante with his 21-ball 32 and Gowtham K’s (14 off 5) late onslaught boosted the total further. He then returned to disrupt Virat Kohli's stumps early in the RCB innings.
At 20 for one in the third over, Patel joined AB de Villiers in the middle but their blossoming stand was ended by Shreyas Gopal, who then wrecked the middle-order to send RCB on the back-foot. While Ben Laughlin’s twin strikes to claim Sarfaraz Khan and Umesh Yadav put RR in the driver’s seat. JaydevUnadkat then accounted for Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj to wrap the match.
Standout batting performance
After the skipper elected bat in the crucial game, Tripathi played the anchor with panache. The Rajasthan Royals’ opener shaped the innings with his 58-ball knock. After a couple of sedate overs and the loss of Jofra Archer, Tripathi announced intent with a six off Moeen Ali over backward square-leg. While Rahane too milked the opponents, the opener helped build the momentum by gleaning runs off the RCB attack. He played watchfully as kept the scoreboard ticking. He held up one end while the batsmen at the other end attacked the bowlers with gusto. After the departure of the RR captain, Tripathi stitched partnerships with Klaasen and Gowtham and built on the platform to lift the team to a solid total.
Standout bowling performance
Shreyas Gopal's 4/16 shifted the balance in RR’s favor. Klaasen’s glove work complemented the bowler’s efforts in pegging back the visitors. The spinner’s double-blow in the ninth over – accounting for Patel and Ali left RCB on 77 for two. Klaasen ripped off the bails to send back his opposite number while Ali was done in by the googly and the bowler took a return catch. In his next over, the bowler had Mandeep Singh stumped. In his following over, Gopal got the key wicket of de Villiers, who was fighting a lone battle. The hard-hitting batsman was done in by the wrong one and a brilliant piece of stumping by the wicketkeeper left RCB wobbling on 98 for six.
For RCB it was Umesh Yadav's 3/25, who provided the vital breakthroughs. The pacer has been in good form and claimed the wickets Jofra Archer upfront and later Rahane and Sanju Samson off successive deliveries.
Rajasthan Royals 164/5 in 20 overs (R Tripathi 80, A Rahane 33, H Klaasen 32, U Yadav 3/25) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 134/10 in 19.2 overs (AB de Villiers 53, S Gopal 4/16, B Laughlin 2/15, J Unadkat 2/27) by 30 runs
Man of the Match: Shreyas Gopal for his match-winning 4/16