Desperate for points and needed a win to stay in the hunt for play-offs, Rajasthan Royals lost another thrilling encounter. This time to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai by seven wickets. This time it was the brilliance of A B De Villiers which demolished them and left them devastated.
Electing to bat after Royals skipper Steve Smith won the toss, promoted up the batting order, Robin Uthappa looked a a different player. Moving his feet well and timing the shots well . Uthappa was fluent in his 22 ball 41. Just the kind of start the Royals needed. Ben Stokes once again failed after getting a start for 15. Sanju Samson (9). Jos Buttler like Stokes did not carry on and he fell for 24 . The Royals are clearly hurting due to the inability of Stokes and Buttler to carry on in this tournament. Fortunately skipper Steve Smith after some poor performances finally showed what he is capable of doing . Smith looked near his best scoring a vital 36 ball 57. Rahul Tewatia ( 19 towards the end added some useful runs as the Royals managed a decent total of 177 / 6 in their twenty overs.
For RCB , South African Chris Morris was impressive yet again. He bagged an impressive 4/26 (4 overs) , Yuzvendra Chahal 2/34( 4 overs), Washington Sundar 0/ 25 (3 overs) , Isuru Udana was wayward and expensive 0/ 43 (3 overs), Navdeep Saini 0/ 30 ( 4 overs) , in his IPl debut Shahbaz Ahmed 0 / 18 ( 2 overs)
In Reply RCB, lost opener Aaron Finch early for ( 14) the Australian ODI and T2o skipper is struggling for form at the top of the order. Fellow opener Devdutt Padikkal struggled hard for his runs and could score 35 off 37 balls. His slow batting put pressure on RCB batsmen as the asking rate was climbing. Skipper Virat Kohli, in fine form scored a quick 43 . The Royals had the match on their grasp till the 19th over over bowled by Jaidev Unadkat. It was here De Villiers unleashed his power and changed the game . ABD smashed three massive sixes and managed to score 25 runs from the over.
The onslaught rattled Unadkat and left Royal Skipper Steve Smith fuming and devastated. De Villiers was blistering and remained unbeaten with a 22 ball 55 with one four and six maximums. proving wh he is the best in the business. And unmatched. Gurkeerat Singh Mann gave De Villiers company scoring a vital 19 runs and remained unbeaten. De Villiers finished the match in style with thundering six of Jofra Archer with two balls to spare and deservingly won the Man of the match award. RCB finished at 179/3 in 19.4 overs. The expression of relief and delight in RCB skipper Virat Kohli’s face said it all.
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For the Royals, the bowling was let down towards the end and it proved costly. Jofra Archer 0/ 38 ( 3.4 overs), Shreyas Gopal 1/ 32 (4 overs) , Kartik Tyagi 1/ 32 ( 4 overs) , Jaidev Undakat 0/ 46 ( 4 overs) he gave 25 runs in the 19th over and it swung the game RCB way. Rahul Tewatia 1/ 30 ( 4 overs).
In the points table RCB now at three while the Royals are languishing at seventh place