Ahmedabad, April 24 (IANS) An overall sturdy team performance from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) helped them beat table-toppers Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sardar Patel Stadium here on Friday.
Chasing a meagre target of 131, the Royal Challengers reached home with nine wickets in hand and 3.5 overs to spare with skipper Virat Kohli (62 not out) scoring an unbeaten half-century.
It was a steady chase from the visitors with Kohli hitting three sixes and one boundary in his 45-ball innings. He was well supported by big-hitting AB de Villiers (47 not out), who together put up an unbeaten 98-run stand for the second wicket.
Earlier, explosive left-handed opener Chris Gayle had scored 20 before he was caught behind in the fifth over.
Royals skipper Shane Watson was the only wicket-taking bowler, clinching the West Indian’s wicket as his bowlers were left with a small target to defend.
Earlier, a strict bowling performance from the Royals Challengers helped them restrict the Royals to only 130/9 from 20 overs.
Kohli opted to field and utilised his bowlers to the optimum. The bowlers, spinners and pacers alike, backed their captain with most of them picking up wickets at regular intervals, which never let any partnership going for the host team.
Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc, who was named Player of the Tournament in the recently concluded 50-over World Cup, was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, giving away only 22 runs from his four overs.
Australian Starc was backed by medio Harshal Patel (2/23) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2/25), who picked up two wickets each, while slow left-arm orthodox bowler Iqbal Abdulla took 1/28.
No Royals batsman got going which resulted in the paltry total. Steven Smith (31), Watson (26) and all-rounder Stuart Binny (20) got starts but none were able to propel the run rate.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair contributed with 18 and 16, respectively, before walking back to the pavilion.