Royal Challengers fight back halts the Royals
The Royal Challengers Bangalore produced a fine comeback to restrict the Rajasthan Royals to a total of just 146-6 after the home side had got off to a tremendous start at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Sreenath Aravind led the fight back picking up three wickets to help the Royal Challengers take control of the game and leave the home side’s hopes of reaching the play offs hanging by a thread.
Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid got the innings of to the perfect start with an opening stand of 73 after the Royals had been put into bat by Royal Challengers stand in skipper Virat Kohli.
Having only scored four runs in the opening over, the pair took advantage of the batsman friendly conditions, adding 39 more runs during the power play overs to put the visitors on the back foot.
With the opening stand turning into a significant partnership, Aravind halted the Royals charge by picking up two wickets in the 10th over to remove Watson and Dravid.
The 27 year old removed Watson (34) with a full delivery which the Aussie smashed to AB de Villiers at long off before Aravind caught Dravid (37) off his own bowling two deliveries later.
Despite the loss of two quick wickets, Johan Botha and Ajinkya Rahane remained positive during a quick fire 3rd wicket stand of 29 as they looked to keep the Royals innings on track.
Rahane lead the way scoring 17 runs from just 10 deliveries before he was run out by Botha who took a quick single even though he was turned down to leave Rahane stranded in the middle of the wicket.
Botha (19) quickly followed Rahane back to the dug out before Ross Taylor, the Royals self described “finisher” could only add 13 runs before he perished at the hands of Charl Langeveldt in the 18th over.
The South African bowled a perfect slower delivery which deceived Taylor for pace resulting in the Kiwi picking out Mohammad Kaif at deep backward square to leave the Royals 124-5.
Ashok Menaria could only add 8 before he was dismissed by Chris Gayle in the 19th over and even though Dishant Harendra Yagnik (2) and Abhishek Raut (5) added 13 valuable runs from the remaining 11 deliveries the home side face an uphill task to secure a much needed victory.