Royal Challengers crush the Royals
It was a fitting end to an exciting day’s play as the Bangalore Royal Challengers thrashed defending champions Rajasthan Royals by a whopping 75 runs in their IPL match.
Rahul Dravid was adjudged the man of the match and spin legend Anil Kumble was the pick of the bowlers with spectacular figures of 5/5 in 3.1 overs as the Rajasthan Royals crashed to 57 all out, the lowest ever total in the history of the IPL.
The Royal Challengers presented a surprising opening to their defence of a modest total of 133/8 as Robin Uthappa strode in wearing the keeper’s gloves. Praveen Kumar lived up to his ‘strike bowler’ tag, removing both openers, Graeme Smith and Swapnil Asnodkar, right in his first spell.
The defending champs never really got a chance to recover from the blow, as Jesse Ryder chipped in with 2 quick wickets, before Uthappa took the bails off on a Virat Kohli throw to run out Dimitri Mascarenhas, leaving the score at a precarious 28/5.
Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja offered some promise with a couple of blistering strokes post the strategy break, but then they were struck by a hurricane called Anil Kumble who single handedly mopped up the latter half of the Rajasthan Royals lineup.
Earlier, Royal Challengers captain Kevin Pietersen won the toss and elected to bat, perhaps keeping in mind the potent batting line up of the revamped Bangalore Royal Challengers team. And the Rajasthan Royals could not have asked for a better beginning in their quest to defend the IPL championship as medium pacer Dmitri Mascerenhas struck twice right in the first two balls of the match.
In the very first ball, Jesse Ryder edged to keeper Mahesh Rawat to see his debut innings coming to a sorry end. Ross Taylor walked in, only to see his stumps knocked back in the very next ball.
Skipper Kevin Pietersen attempted a rescue mission along with Bangalore lad Robin Uthappa. But that too was short lived as Mascerenhas struck again, Uthappa spooning a catch to the wicketkeeper after scoring 3 off 11. Pietersen resumed his effort along with Rahul Dravid, until he himself fell to debutant medium pacer Tyron Henderson for 32.
Dravid took over the sheet anchor role in his own true style and provided some stability to the innings but could only watch as wickets kept falling at the other end. He eventually fell in the last over, having made a blistering 66 off just 48 balls, ensuring that his team reached a decent total.
Royal Challengers finished their innings for 133/8, which was in fact a fair total, considering Mascerenhas’s destructive opening spell. In reply, the Rajasthan Royals could manage only a paltry 57, which beat Kolkata Knight Riders’ 67 in the last season, to be the lowest total ever seen in the IPL.