Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) set up a clash with Chennai Indians for the second eliminator in the playoffs of the Indian Premier League by thrashing Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 71 runs in a lop-sided contest. On a Pune pitch where stroke making was not easy, RCB piled up 180 runs in 20 overs with the help of some terrific batting by AB de Villiers and Mandeep Singh. RR’s chase never got going, and they were eventually bowled out for a paltry score of 109 runs.
Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat first. But they did not get the start they were looking for. Chris Gayle and Kohli were slow off the blocks. And both got out looking for big shots. The Bangalore side was in trouble of posting a below par total, as just 47 runs materialized in the first nine overs at the cost of two wickets.
De Villiers and Mandeep first looked to steady the innings after the openers’ departure. Once the duo settled, Mandeep started the aggression in the 10th over with a boundary and a six. De Villiers opened up in the 15th over with a couple of sixes. The last six overs produced 86 runs as AB and Mandeep made merry. De Villiers scored 66 off 38 balls and Mandeep scored an unbeaten 54 off 34 balls.
Shane Watson hit a couple of boundaries in the first over of the chase, bowled by Mitchell Starc. That was one of the very few good overs for Rajasthan Royals in their whole innings. Watson got out in the second over. The rest of the team failed to stitch together a decent partnership. Ajinkya Rahane stuck around for some time. When he was out in the 14th over, after making 42 off 39 balls in the team total of 89 for five, the writing was on the ball. The end came swiftly as the team was bundled out for 109 runs in 19 overs.
AB de Villiers is the man of the match. RCB will face Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi on Friday.