Ab De Villiers smashed a 22-ball fifty to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a seven wicket win on Saturday. Skipper Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal added 70-plus strong stand for the 2nd wicket after the dismissal of Aaron Finch but game-changer Rahul Tewatia pulled him team back into the game by cleaning up both set batsmen in back-to-back overs. But, the South African legend exploded in the death overs to produce a magical knock and attain a win for Bangalore.
Chasing 178 for the win, young sensational batsman Devdutt Padikkal and Aussie star opener Aaron Finch came out in the middle for the chase, and for Royals their star speedster Jofra Archer started the proceedings with the new ball. Finch was aggressive in his approach as he smacked Archer in his third over for two big sixes.
The introduction of spin into the attack worked for Royals. Spinner Shreyas Gopal tossed the ball up to get the big wicket of Aaron Finch who looked extremely dangerous with the bat. Robin Uthappa bagged a great catch as Gopal cleaned up Finch for second time in IPL 2020 and give his team an early breakthrough. Gopal dismissed Finch but RCB still managed to bag 47 runs in the Powerplay.
Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli continued to add runs for the 2nd wicket partnership and kept Bangalore in hunt of the 178-run target but the challenge continued to become tough for them as the required run rate increased to almost 11 runs per over after first 9 overs.
A budding stand was building between Kohli and Padikkal, the same duo who had starred in the previous game between these two teams. But with the required rate increasing every over, one among the two needed to change gears and play big strokes. They continued to rotate strike in the middle but one boundary per over was not helping RCB in their cause.
Rahul Tewatia again proved to be a game-changer first with the ball and then with his fielding, First, he bowled a clever delivery to remove under-pressure Devdutt Padikkal for 35 and the next big blow he delivered to RCB was in form of Virat Kohli (43) by completing a brilliant running catch near the boundary rope. Both Padikkal and Kohli were back into the pavilion after a strong 79-run stand.
With their star batsman AB de Villiers at the crease, Bangalore needed 61 runs in the last 27 balls. Rajasthan Royals had managed to get both set batsmen out but desperately needed De Villiers wicket to close the game for RCB.
De Villiers showcased his class as he has smashed Jaydev Unadkat for three back to back sixes in the 19th over and the pressure was now on Jofra Archer, who had to bowl the last over and defend just 10 runs from it. De Villiers sealed a seven-wicket win for RCB in the last over with a six.
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals won the toss and opted to bat. RR made a surprising move by getting veteran Robin Uthappa to open with star all-rounder Ben Stokes.
RR batters Steven Smith (36-ball 57) and Jos Buttler (25-ball 24) staged a fightback with a 58 run-partnership after losing quick wickets to power their team to a respectable total of 177/6 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Robin Uthappa (22-ball 41), who came down as an opener for Royals for the first time this season, ensured his team got off to a great start.
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(w), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal