Jaipur: Royal Challengers Bangalore bounced back in style, after two losses in a row, to register crucial two points on the table as they beat Rajasthan Royals in Match 60 of TATA IPL 2023 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday.
Run machine Faf du Plessis' composed innings of 55 off 44, his seventh fifty of IPL 2023, coupled with crucial attack innings under pressure from Glenn Maxwell (54 off 33) and Anuj Rawat(29* off 11) lifted Bangalore to a competitive 171/5.
Bangalore RCB bowlers, led by Wayne Parnell (3/10), then came out all guns blazing to scalp five RR wickets inside the Powerplay. The hosts never recovered from that as they were bowled out for 59 inside 11 overs.
Chasing 172, Rajasthan were shocked early as Yashasvi Jaiswal (0 off 2) walked back to the hut off the second ball of the innings as he hit one uppishly straight to mid off, off Mohammad Siraj.
Jaiswal's opening partner Jos Buttler (0 off 2) departed in the next over as he hit one straight to point off Wayne Parnell. Captain Sanju Samson walked back two balls later as he top-edged his pull off Parnell and Anuj Rawat took a good running catch.
Rajasthan then introduced Devdutt Padikkal, who walked in at No.5, as their Impact Player, replacing Chahal. Joe Root then survived a scare as he was given out LBW off Siraj but he reviewed it successfully as the Ball Tracking showed it was going over the stumps.
Rajasthan lost another one in the Powerplay as Impact Player Devdutt Padikkal hit one powerfully to short mid-wicket where Siraj took a good low catch.
Rajasthan lost half their side inside six overs as Parnell trapped Root LBW. The batsman reviewed it but Ball Tracking showed it was hitting leg - All three reds.
The collapse didn't stop there as Michael Bracewell joined the wicket-taking party as he had Dhruv Jurel caught at deep square leg in the next over. Shimron Hetmyer then went on the counterattack smashing three sixes in a row off Karn Sharma but after the joy there was despair in the same over as Ashwin was run out by a Dhoni-esque flick onto the stumps by keeper Anuj Rawat.
Hetmyer's short little cameo of 35(19) ended in the next over as he mistimed his heave straight into the hands of the long-on fielder. Karn Sharma then sent back Adam Zampa and KM Asif in the 11th over as RR were bowled out for third-lowest total in the IPL - 59.
Earlier, Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat. The away team made three changes to the starting XI as Michael Bracewell, Wayne Parnell and Karn Sharma replaced Wanindu Hasaranga, Josh Hazlewood and Vijaykumar Vyshak. They named Vijaykumar Vyshak, Finn Allen, Shahbaz Ahmed, Himanshu Sharma and Suyash Prabhudessai as their substitutes.
Rajasthan made one change to the starting eleven as Adam Zampa replaced Trent Boult. Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag, Kuldip Yadav, Donovan Ferreira and Navdeep Saini made it to their substitutes list.
Rajasthan bowlers started off well and bowled with discipline. There was just one odd loose ball in the first three overs which Kohli slashed through point for a four. And that was the only four conceded in the first three overs.
Faf du Plessis finally changed gears as he cut one through point for a four and then pulled one over wide long-on for a six to make it 12 runs off the fourth over. Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin were then introduced into the attack and they started off well, giving away five and eight runs respectively off the next two overs as RCB reached 42/0 at the end of the Powerplay.
Rajasthan conceded just three fours and a six in the first six overs.
Faf then survived a run out chance following a big mix-up with Kohli as Yashasvi Jaiswal missed his direct hit with Du Plessis struggling to make it. Jaiswal was in action once again but on the other side as he held on to a tricky high catch of Virat Kohli (18 off 19) after the bowler KM Asif had bowled a lovely knuckle ball to deceive the former Bangalore captain who miscued his loft.
Bangalore were going at around 7 an over and they desperately needed a move on. Glenn Maxwell had a little look to start off but then tonked one over wide long on off Ashwin for a six and cut one powerfully through cover-point off Chahal for a four.
Maxwell pulled one powerfully through mid-wicket off Adam Zampa for another four as Bangalore reached 78/1 at the halfway mark. But Rajsthan pulled things back and conceded just 8.
Bangalore batsmen found the going tough and Maxwell had to find creative ways to keep going as he reverse pulled one to third man for a four and then slashed one over point for another four off Sandeep Sharma.
Maxwell then smashed a muscular six over the sightscreen off Ashwin as the duo brought up the 50-run stand. Du Plessis who was playing a composed knock at the other end then brought up his seventh fifty of the season with a thumping six over deep mid-wicket off Asif but the Rajasthan pacer hit back hard as he had Du Plessis (55 off 44) caught at extra cover three balls later. One brought two and two brought three as Bangalore lost two wickets in the next over.
Mahipal Lomror arrived but didn't last long as he mistimed his heave off Zampa to deep mid-wicket where Dhruv Jurel took a juggling catch. Zampa trapped Dinesh Karthik LBW off the next ball via a successful review as Zampa finished a fine spell of 4-0-25-2.
Maxwell then again provided some relief as he cracked a four and a six off Chahal to bring up his fifth fifty of the season, off 32 balls. He however departed in the next over, trying to up the scoring as he missed his reverse sweep off a clever yorker from Sandeep Sharma and was castled.
Anuj Rawat then provided a crucial late surge as he scored 29* off 11 including 6, 6, 4 off the last three balls of the innings to propel Bangalore to a competitive 171/5.
Bangalore introduced Shahbaz Ahmed as their Impact Player in place of Dinesh Karthik.
(With UNI inputs)