Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday showed why they need to be seen as serious competitors for the IPL 2020 title after the Virat Kohli-led side tromps to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Star of the victory was the skipper himself with 72* and was backed by Devdutt Padikkal, who scored 63 to continue his rich form. Yuzvendra Chahal also left his mark with three wickets to take the purple cap. The southern side chased down the target with five balls to spare.
Opting to bat first, Rajasthan Royals could only manage 154/6, thanks to some efficient bowling display from the Yuzvendra Chahal (3/24) and Ishuru Udana (2/41). Mahipal Lomror (47 off 39) in the middle overs and Rahul Tewatia (24 off 12) late in the ininngs helped side go past 150.
Earlier, RR lost first three wickets by the beginning of fifth over with just 31 runs on board. Jos Buttler (22 off 12) looked in good touch from the word go but no support from other end — Steve Smith (5) and Sanju Samson (4) — meant English batsman’s initial contribution turned negligible.
No. 4 Robin Uthappa and Mahipal Lomror stitched a steady 36-ball 39-run stand before the former was wrapped up by Chahal in a soft dismissal.
Lomror (47 off 39) picked 35 run stand for the fifth wicket with Riyan Parag (16 off 18) before both fell in quick succession to Udana and Chahal respectively; leaving RR at 114/6 at the 17th over.
Tewatia and Jofra Archer (16 off 10) then ensured the team went past the 150-mark.
Chasing the modest target, Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered early setback in Aaron Finch (8 off 7), who was caught lbw by Shreyas Gopal. However, that turned out to be mere aberration in the chase as Devdutt Padikkal scored his third IPL fifty in just fourth innings to ensure a comfortable -wicket win for RCB. He was aptly supported from the other end by skipper Virat Kohli, who finally among runs in the competition with a worthy 50.
The duo stitched a 99-run stand for the second wicket before Padikkal (63 off 45) was bowled out by Jofra Archer with RCB needing further 34 runs off 31 deliveries.
Kohli (72* off 53) ensured further damage came their way as RCB reached 155 with AB de VIlliers not out at 12 on the other end.
Among RR bowlers, only Archer (18/1) and Shreyas Gopal (1/28) were among wickets while rest of the bowling unit couldn't reap benefit from the surface while giving away too many runs for skipper Steve Smith's liking.