May 26 2020
Morale-boosting win for RCB
24 April 2012

Royal Challengers Bangalore had prepared well for this Indian Premier League contest. It studied Rajasthan Royals' strong points, worked on its own weak links after the defeat at home and extracted a morale boosting 46-run win at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Monday night.

Asked to bat, RCB posted 189 which proved beyond the reach of Rajasthan despite a spirited show from skipper Rahul Dravid.

RCB coach Venkatesh Prasad and mentor Anil Kumble had spent close to an hour with left-arm spinner K.M. Appanna on the eve of the match. He picked his lessons and delivered with a clever variation of flight and pace.

The confidence that marked Appanna's spell stood out as much as his ability to read the batsman. The blows he dealt to dent the batting put Rajasthan hopelessly out of the race.

Earlier, AB de Villiers and T. Dilshan shone with the bat during their 122-run third wicket partnership. RCB's batting initially lacked direction. The batsmen failed to maintain the brisk start and floundered in the ‘middle' overs to allow Rajasthan breathe freely.

Good start wasted

The innovation in Virat Kohli moving up the order did not help. A couple of well-placed shots and then an indiscreet one left Kohli cursing himself. He had picked just the lone fielder on the off and wasted a good start.

Dilshan, meanwhile, was in his element. He read the situation well, picked the gaps and waited to strike. It was imperative he stayed since RCB lost Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle cheaply.

Agarwal's dismissal was not surprising. He looked out place, especially when the ball was dug short. Gayle fell to a well-disguised delivery from the foxy Brad Hogg. The Australian left-arm spinner enjoyed his outing, mixing the deliveries craftily and commanding respect.

His celebratory sprint after consuming Gayle showed his passion. He hardly looked a 41-year-old.

The audience was entertained by Dilshan and de Villiers. There was a scoop to be relished from Dilshan and a mighty heave off a good length ball by de Villiers.

Dilshan packed lot of punch when he cut and pulled while de Villiers came up with some explosive shots square of the wicket.

de Villiers' assault decided the course of the contest. His robust strokeplay fetched him five sixes and three fours. It was sheer power as he clouted the ball into the stands, taking firm control of the situation with adequate support from Dilshan.

Rajasthan's fielding suffered and the bowlers too erred as the batsmen swung the bat and continued to connect well.

Great form

Some of the shots that de Villiers produced reflected the form he is in. Quick to spot the line, he moved his feet to meet the ball with a fine blend of timing and power.

The bowlers ran out of wit as he scattered the field with his precision. He may have thrown his bat around but there was a touch of class in the couple of copybook drives that he played in front. It was his knock that set up the team's domination.

Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore: V. Kohli c Hodge b Pankaj 16 (16b, 2x4), T. Dilshan (not out) 76 (58b, 10x4, 1x6), M. Agarwal c Hodge b Hogg 15 (17b, 2x4), C. Gayle lbw b Hogg 4 (8b), A.B. de Villiers (not out) 59 (23b, 3x4, 5x6); Extras (lb-10, nb-2, w-7): 19; Total (for three wkts. in 20 overs): 189.

Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Kohli), 2-60 (Agarwal), 3-67 (Gayle).

Rajasthan Royals bowling: Chandila 4-0-29-0, Pankaj 4-0-32-1, Cooper 4-1-35-0, Trivedi 4-0-44-0, Hogg 4-0-39-2.

Rajasthan Royals: R. Dravid c Dilshan b Appanna 58 (42,b 8x4), A. Rahane c sub (Pomersbach) b Appanna 13 (18b, 1x4), O. Shah st. de Villiers b Appanna10 (15b, 1x6), S. Goswami c Agarwal b Appanna 1 (2b), B. Hodge c Agarwal b Harshal 10 (8b, 1x4), S. Binny (not out) 20 (18b, 2x4), K. Cooper c Vettori b Zaheer 8 (6b, 2x4), B. Hogg c Vinay b Harshal 13 (11b, 1x4); Extras (lb-5, w-5): 10; Total (for seven wkts. in 20overs): 143.

Fall of wickets: 1-56 (Rahane), 2-80 (Shah), 3-87 (Goswami), 4-91 (Dravid), 5-101 (Hodge), 6-119 (Cooper), 7-143 (Hogg).

Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling: Zaheer 4-0-30-1, Vinay Kumar 4-0-37-0, Vettori 4-0-20-0, Apanna 4-0-19-4, Harshal 4-0-32-2.

Man-of-the-match: A.B de Villiers.



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