Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) staged an excellent comeback to beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai in Match 43 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
With this win, the Virat Kohli-led side took a step closer to the playoffs.
After being asked to bat first, Rajasthan Royals blew away a blistering start to finish at 149 for 9 in 20 overs.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (2/10) and leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal (2/18) triggered the slide after RR were cruising at 100 for one in the 11th over.
Pacer Harshal Patel (3/34) came close to picking a hat-trick in successive matches in the final over, but Kartik Tyagi denied him that as RR lost eight wickets for 49 runs.
Evin Lewis top-scored with 58 off 37 balls, studded with five fours and three sixes, but he was guilty of throwing away his wicket at a crucial juncture, and so was skipper Sanju Samson (19 off 15b; 2×6), whose adventurism did not help his team.
Chasing a modest total, RCB were off to a good start, courtesy of Devdutt Padikkal (22 off 17b; 4×4) and skipper Virat Kohli (25 off 20b; 4×4). The duo put on 48 runs, before Mustafizur Rahman cleaned up Padikkal to provide RR with the breakthrough.
Riyan Parag, who had dropped Kohli a ball before, made the amend with a direct throw as the RCB skipper fell way short of his crease.
However, KS Bharat (44 off 35b;3×4, 1×6) and Glenn Maxwell (50 not out off 30b; 6×4.1×6) were involved in a risk-free 69-run partnership for the third wicket.
After the fall of Bharat’s wicket, he smoked 22 runs from Chris Morris’ 17th over to get his team closer to the total. Ab de Villiers finished off things in style with a boundary as RCB chased down the total in 17.1 overs with seven wickets in hand.
Earlier, RR saw off two quiet overs before Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal (31) decided to cut loose at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. From eight for two in two overs, RR were cruising at 39 for no loss at the end of fourth before racing past the fifty-run mark in the next over, with Lewis being the aggressor.
Jaiswal played the day’s first scoring shot when he hit Mohammed Siraj through the cover and in the next over, he clobbered Glenn Maxwell for a huge six over long on.
Lewis took over after that, smashing debutant English left-arm pacer George Garton for two sixes and a four as RR picked 18 off the over. Garton was coming back into the attack after being strangely taken off despite a very economical first over.
Lewis hammered another six and a four against Harshal Patel, as RR crossed fifty run mark in the fifth over.
Garton, who was taken to the task by Lewis in his second over, came back strongly to exact revenge when he had the big-hitter from Trinidad sky one for wicketkeeper KS Bharat to complete a high catch.
Samson pulled Garton over deep square leg for a six but RR lost the plot after that, the slide starting with the wicket of Mahipal Lomror off Chahal.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Punjab Kings on Sunday. Rajasthan Royals will be up against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.