The Rajasthan Royals earned their first points of VIVO IPL 2019 after they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets on Tuesday evening. After opting to bowl first at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, the Rajasthan Royals restricted the Royal Challengers to 158-4 and then chased down the runs in the last over.The result leaves RCB as the only winless team in the competition; they have now lost all four matches they’ve played this season.
In pursuit of 159, the Rajasthan Royals openers came out all guns blazing. Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler added 55 runs in the powerplay overs. After Rahane (22 off 20) was dismissed in the eighth over – trapped LBW by a googly from Yuzvendra Chahal, Buttler and Steve Smith added 44 in five overs. That partnership was broken when Buttler was forced into reaching for a tossed up wide leg-break, didn’t get sufficiently under the ball and picked out long-off. Smith (38 from 31 balls) and Rahul Tripathi were involved in a 56-run stand that took the hosts to the brink. Tripathi(34* from 23 balls) brought up the win in style, hitting Umesh Yadav for a six over square-leg.
RCB didn’t help their own cause by putting down three catches; Kohli put down Rahane, Umesh Yadav dropped Smith, and Moeen Ali put down Tripathi.
Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore, who made three changes to the side that took the field in the previous match, got off to a steady start with the opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli stitching together a 49-run partnership. RCB lost a bit of momentum when they lost thee wickets in a short period of time to slip to 73-3. Parthiv Patel, who had been a spectator watching wickets fall at the other end, then took control of proceedings and brought up his twelfth IPL half-century. He, and Marcus Stoinis, who made his debut for RCB, added 53 runs for the fourth wicket to take the team past the 100-run mark. After Parthiv was dismissed for a well-compiled 67, Stoinis (31 not out) and Moeen Ali (18 not out from 9 balls) added 32 runs in 2.5 overs to guide RCB to a respectable total.
For the Rajasthan Royals, the two spinners – K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal – were the stand out bowlers.
Standout batting performance
Jos Buttlerbegan aggressively; he raced to 20 from 13 balls, at which point his opening partner only had three singles against his name. Buttler drove fluently through cover and through the V, and deposited a half-tracker from Moeen Ali into the stands with a pull shot. He brought up his half-century in style; heskipped down the track against his England teammate and drove one fiercely down the ground.
As always, the expectations were on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to power RCB. After both players fell to Shreyas Gopal’s googly, the responsibility fell on Parthiv Patel’s shoulders to see the team to a respectable total. Parthiv’s innings was of three parts; he scored 32 off the first 17 balls he faced. After Kohli and de Villiers were dismissed, Parthiv hardly got any strike; over the next four overs, he only faced five deliveries. And then the flourish; he hit Ben Stokes for a six over midwicket and pounced on width next ball and sent the ball on its way to the point boundary. Parthiv brought up his half-century in the fourteenth over – consuming 29 balls to get there.
Parthiv batted until the eighteenth over and made 67 when he was deceived by a slower delivery from Jofra Archer and hit it down the throat of long-on.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Steve Smith made his first substantial contribution to the Rajasthan Royals’ VIVO IPL 2019 campaign; the Australian was busy at the crease, used his shuffle to unsettle the bowlers, ran hard between the wickets and found the occasional boundary. He made 38 and hit two boundaries and a six in his 31-ball knock.
Standout Bowling performance
For the second time in two matches, a Bangalore lad - playing for the Rajasthan Royals - was causing the Royal Challengers grief. After picking up 4-16 against RCB in Jaipur last season, Shreyas Gopal was at it again. On Tuesday evening, he consumed RCB’s top guns – Kohli and de Villiers, and added the wicket of ShimronHetmyer, finishing with astonishing figures of 4-1-12-3.
Shreyas’ first wicket was the outcome of a dream ball; it was the wrong ‘un which pitched outside off, had the batsman thinking just enough for the ball to turn back, sneak through the gate and crash into the stumps. This was no ordinary batsman at the receiving end; it was Virat Kohli.
Shreyas’ next victim would be AB de Villiers; this time the googly stopped on the pitch, took the bottom part of the bat and lobbed back to the bowler, who completed a good return catch. Shreyas’ third victim was ShimronHetmyer, who was all at sea against the spinners, and edged a googly to Jos Buttler behind the stumps.
Yuzvendra Chahal was RCB’s best bowler. The leg-spinner wasn’t afraid to toss the ball and sparingly used the googly. He accounted for the dismissals of Rahane and Buttler, and should have had the wicket of Smith too if only Umesh Yadav hadn’t put down a regulation catch. Chahal bowled his four overs for 17 runs; his spell contained 11 dot balls.
Notable Support Act – Bowling
Despite having to bowl the first, third and sixth overs – when only two fielders are allowed outside the circle, K Gowtham conceded only one boundary and finished an impressive economy rate of 4.75. The off-spinner’s figures at the end of the powerplay phase read 3-0-17-0; he then returned to bowl the tenth over and completed an extremely good job by conceding just two runs.
Rajasthan Royals: 164-3 in 19.5 overs (Jos Buttler 59, Steve Smith 38, Rahul Tripathi 34*) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore: 158-4 (Parthiv Patel 67, Marcus Stoinis 31*, Shreyas Iyer 3-12) by 7 wickets.
Stat of the Match:
Jos Buttler’s 59 was his fourth consecutive half-century in IPL matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Man of the Match:
Shreyas Gopal, for his spell of 4-1-12-3.