MUMBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (173-6) handed Rajasthan Royals (169-3) their first defeat of the season on Tuesday by winning the match 13 of the Indian Premier League by four wickets. Here are the major highlights from the match –
Compact and composite Buttler: Jos Buttler is renowned for his audacious strokeplay but on Tuesday he proved that he isn’t a one-trick pony. The pitch at the Wankhede stadium was evidently sluggish and the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat. Instead of mindlessly indulging in slogfest, Buttler dug his heels in and hammered out a superbly well-calibrated innings.
After losing his opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal early, who was cleaned up by David Willey’s in-dipper, Buttler batted with immense restraint and played out the Powerplay as the ball was jagging around. He had his share of luck as he was dropped twice in the 10th over off medium-pacer Akash Deep. He rubbed salt into his wounds by clubbing him for a six over long-off in the same over.
Buttler let his partner Devdutt Padikkal take charge and do the heavy lifting, while he played the role of a sheet anchor. Both of them added 70 for the second wicket in which Padikkal scored most of the runs.
At one stage, Buttler was batting on 43 off 40 balls. He finally went on the rampage in the 19th over as he bludgeoned Mohammed Siraj for two sixes over long-off and long-on. In the next over, he took Akash Deep to the cleaners by clouting him for two colossal sixes over long-on.
The left-hander Shimron Hetmyer also stepped up and smashed an unbeaten 42 off just 31 balls. Buttler and Hetmyer plundered 23 runs in the last over of the innings and put together an unbeaten partnership of 83 runs for the fourth wicket. They catapulted Rajasthan to 169-3 in 20 overs as Buttler remained unbeaten on 70 off 47 balls.
‘Butterfingered’ Bangalore: Bangalore fielders looked completely out of their depth and muffed a string of chances. In the 10th over, Akash Deep dropped a caught and bowled to give Buttler a life when he was batting on just 10. In the same over, Willey gave another reprieve to Buttler as he grassed a catch at deep-wicket. These mistakes proved utterly costly as Buttler kicked on and scored an unbeaten 70 to propel his team to 169 in 20 overs.
Paddikal was also dropped by Siraj at deep square-leg off the bowling of Willey when he was batting on 20.
Harshal’s field day: While Bangalore fielders botched up plenty of opportunities in the field, Harshal Patel had a field day on the pitch which was almost tailor-made for him. He relied heavily on his slow cutters and got tremendous assistance from the pitch which was obtuse in nature. Even the likes of Buttler and Heymyer, who took apart from other bowlers, found it tough to cart him away. He was creditably consistent with his line and didn’t spray the ball around. Overall, he conceded only 18 runs in 4 overs and also snaffled a wicket.
Later, he also finished the match by smiting a six off Jaiswal.
Bangalore openers pave the way: Bangalore openers Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat lent a solid start to the team by adding 55 runs for the first wicket in 7 overs. The tempo of their partnership was nicely measured as they didn’t take too many risks yet managed to keep the scoreboard ticking. Faf unfurled a few delightful cover drives and also lofted R Ashwin over mid-off a couple of times. Rawat didn’t hesitate in coming down the track to pacers and dished out some fine shots down the ground.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal snapped the stand as Faf couldn’t clear the long-on and was caught by Trent Boult at the boundary in the 7th over. Navdeep Saini got Rawat caught behind in the next over. Soon, Virat Kohli was run out and Willey was bowled neck and crop by Chahal. From 55-0, Bangalore were suddenly tottering at 62-4.
Karthik’s kamikaze attack: Undeterred by the situation, wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik launched a kamikaze attack on Rajasthan bowlers leaving them stunned and scarred. In the 14th over of the innings, he put R Ashwin to the sword by fetching 21 runs off the over which completely changed the course of the match. He thumped the off-spinner for a six over long-on, swept him with precision for a four, and then reeled off a reverse-sweep to get another boundary.
His astounding assault completely deflated Rajasthan bowlers as they became horribly wayward and stopped bowling to their field. Left-hander Shahbaz Ahmed also batted with aplomb and score a quick-fire 45 before he was bowled by Boult in the 18th over.
Karthik continued to milk and maul Rajasthan bowlers with effortless ease as Bangalore attained the target in 19.1 overs to seal a four-wicket victory.
He remained unbeaten on 44 off just 23 balls and was declared Man of the Match.