The much fancied Royal Challengers Bangalore were on a roll in the last few matches, playing with desire and intent. So it was expected that they would prevail over the Rajasthan Royals. Who were depleted by the absence of Jos Buttler and all- rounder Ben Stokes ( returning to England for national duty) but the Royals stood tall . In a much anticipated encounter at Jaipur Royals beat RCB by 30 runs to stay in the race for the play- offs spot.
Powered by Rahul Tripathi’s unbeaten 80 off 58 balls and a 99 run partnership with skipper Ajinkya Rahane ( 33 off 31 balls) , the Royals scored 164 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs. It looked a modest target against the likes of Virat Kohli and A B De Villiers .
But to the surprise of many 24 year-old leg spinner Shreyas Gopal stunned the famed Royal Challengers Bangalore batting line-up to claim four wickets for 16 runs and helped the team restrict them to 134 for 9 in 20 overs. To fashion a stunning win. AB de Villiers briefly threatened to take the game away for RCB with a 35-ball 53 after he fell the team fell apart . Skipper Virat Kohli (4) , Moeen Ali (1), Mandeep Singh (3) and Colin de Grandhomme (2) did not click when it mattered most. And RCB crashed out of the tournament.
Rahane was brilliant on the field with his timely bowling changes and perfect field placements. It choked the RCB run flow.
He was well supported by Jaydev Unadkat and Ben Laughlin who chipped in with two wickets apiece while off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham took one . They ended the tournament with 12 points from 14 matches.
Rajasthan Royals on the other hand will have to wait for the results of other teams to reach the play- offs. If Mumbai Indians loses to Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab Lose to Chennai Super Kings, then only will the Royals go through.