IPL 8: Kohli, Starc power RCB to nine-wicket win over RR
Ahmedabad: Skipper Virat Kohli blasted his second successive fifty and pacer Mitchell Starc snapped three wickets as Royal Challengers Bangalore notched up a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in their IPL encounter here today.
Bangalore didn't put a foot wrong today as they first dished out a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Rajasthan to 130 for nine and then returned to overhaul the target with 23 balls to spare.
Chasing 130, Bangalore rode on the unbeaten 98-run partnership between Kohli and AB de villiers (47) for the second wicket to snap their three-match losing streak and hand over Rajasthan their second successive loss.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring a fifty against Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on Friday. Pic/PTI
Earlier, Starc scalped three wickets, Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel took two wickets each while left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla snapped one at the Sardar Patel Stadium after skipper Kohli elected to field.
Chris Gayle (20) and Kohli gave Bangalore a good start with the West Indies batsman blasting three fours and a six. But Shane Watson dismissed Gayle with a slower bouncer which caught him offguard as he top-edged it to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson.
AB de Villiers then joined Kohli and the South African skipper straight away blasted James Faulkner for a couple of boundaries. Kohli too picked up a six off Pravin Tambe to keep the scoreboard ticking.
De Villiers cracked two more fours in Tambe's second over. The duo started toying with the bowlers as they picked up quick singles and twos and also found regular boundaries to frustrated Rajasthan.
In the 14th over, Kohli brought up the 100 with a straight drive six off the first ball and then reached his individual fifty with a single.
De Villiers then blasted a four off Watson and Kohli plundered another six off Tambe in the next to inch closer to the target.
Finally, it was de villiers who hit flicked Deepak Hooda to the midwicket boundary for a four to seal the game in Bangalore's favour.
Earlier put into bat, Ajinkya Rahane (18) and Watson (26) gave Rajasthan a flying start as the duo amassed 36 in 5 overs before the former was trapped infront of wicket by Patel.
Rahane hit two boundaries and a six in his 12-ball innings, while Watson blasted four fours and a six before his attempt to score another six off Chahal ended with a simple catch at the fence by Starc.
New man Karun Nair (16) blasted a six before his 14-ball stay was cut short by a bullet throw from the boundary line by Patel with Kohli doing the needful as Rajasthan slipped to 72 for three.
Hooda (1) too was cleaned up by Abdulla in the 12th over when he tried to play a slog shot off a straight delivery.
Samson (4) too followed suit, paying the price for another irresponsible slog-sweep as Yuzvendra Chahal disturbed his stumps.
Smith and Stuart Binny then brought up the 100 in the 15th over. The duo tried to up the tempo and picked up a four each but Starc returned and struck twice to sent the duo back to the hut as RR were reduced to 121-7.
Smith's mistimed shot landed in the safe hands of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, while Binny, who was dropped by Abdulla at long on in the 16th over, found David Wiese at deep extra cover.
James Faulkner was then sent back to the pavillion by Patel with wicketkeeper Karthik taking an exceptional catch, diving to his left in the 19th over.
Starc then cleaned up No. 10 batsman Dhawal Kulkarni as RR managed to score 130 in their stipulated 20 overs.
Rajasthan Royals: 130 for 9 in 20 overs (Steve Smith 31; Mitchell Starc 3/22).
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 134 for 1 in 16.1 overs (Virat Kohli 62; Shane Watson 1/23).