No challenge for RCB in battle of the royals
Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in their T20 League match in Bangalore today.india Updated: Apr 21, 2013 18:30 IST
When Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli form a batting line-up, there is always pressure on the opposition batsmen.
The Rajasthan Royals batsmen faced the same dilemma on Saturday, and they came a cropper at the Chinnaswamy Stadium against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Royals have punched above their weight this season and have been successful so far. But against RCB, they attempted too many things and paid the price.
On a pitch that has been the best to score runs on, the Royals batsmen were found wanting and were bowled out for 117, two balls short of completing the full quota of 20 overs.
True, the RCB bowlers put on their best display so far and were so disciplined that they did not concede a single extra, it would be fair to say that the Royals batsmen gifted away their wickets.
The below-par target was never going to be enough even after the cheap dismissals of Kohli and de Villiers.
Gayle remained unbeaten on 49 (44b, 4x4, 1x6) while Saurabh Tiwary made a welcome return from injury 25 (29b, 2x4, 1x6) as the hosts coasted home by seven wickets with 13 balls to spare.
For a full-house weekend crowd, that had expected a royal battle, it was as one-sided and dull as it could get.
The otherwise partisan crowd had its loyalties tested with the son of the soil Rahul Dravid leading the rival team.
There was jubilation when Shane Watson fell in the third over and it got only louder as Dravid walked in.
While he settled into the warm applause, it was another local boy Stuart Binny 33 (20b, 4x4, 1x6) who raised the tempo.
Binny came to the crease after Ajinkya Rahane threatened to do a repeat of his blistering century last season.
A sublime six off Ravi Rampaul, when Rahane walked down the pitch to hoist it over long-off, signalled his intent. But the opener fell the very next ball, a well-disguised slower one from Jaydev Unadkat.
It brought the two local men at the crease and it turned out to be the Royals' best time.