PUNE: Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 29 runs in match 39 of the Indian Premier League to climb to the top of the points table.
Bowling first after winning the toss, Bangalore bowlers stepped up and quickly demolished the top-order of Rajasthan. After Devdutt Padikkal was trapped in front of the stumps by Mohammad Siraj in the second over, R Ashwin was promoted and sent at no.3 position. He played a couple of attractive shots before Siraj outdid him with a short ball.
However, Rajasthan copped the biggest jolt when Jos Buttler, who is in sizzling form, was dismissed by Josh Hazlewodd as he tried to whip the ball but was caught at mid on,
Rajasthan Captain Sanju Samson smashed two sixes off the left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed to accelerate the run-rate but was cleaned up by Wanindu Hasaranga as he attempted reverse sweep.
Daryl Mitchell eked out a tame innings before he fell to Hazlewood. Shimron Hetmyer and Trent Boult were also dismissed soon after.
Riyan Parag was the only batsman who showed composure and cut loose in the last couple of overs. He was dropped by Hasaranga in the 19th over off Hazlewood when he was batting 32. This folly proved immensely fatal for Bangalore as Parag smashed seamer Harshal patel for two sixes in the 20th over and collected 18 runs as Rajasthan reached 144-8.
Chasing 145, Bangalore lost Virat Kohli, who was promoted as an opener, early as he tried to pull the pacer Prasidh Krishna but miscued the shot and was caught at point for 9. Captain Faf du Plessis reeled off a few delightful shots but his dismissal was the turning point of the match. Medium-pacer Kuldeep Sen prised out du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell on consecutive deliveries in the 7th over to rattle Bangalore’s innings.
Bangalore could not recover from this setback and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Kuldeep and off-spinner R Ashwin snapped up four and three wickets respectively. In the end, Bangalore were bowled out for 115 in 19.3 overs.
Parag was chosen as Man of the Match for his zestful fifty.
“The Royals have shown faith in me for the last three years, and I am paying them back bit by bit. I love pressure and I am just showcasing my abilities. During the time-out, Sanga came out and we agreed that 140 was a good total on this wicket. We decided to go big in the last two overs. I wanted to target Hasaranga in his second over, but we lost wickets, and so I had to strategize and go after Hazlewood and Harshal,” he said after the match.
Rajasthan captain Samson also heaped adulation on Parag and said he had faith in him. “It is a really great win. After the start in the first 15 overs, we had real belief and trust in someone called Riyan Parag. We have been backing him for the last three-four years and he just showed it to the world today,” he stated.
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