Bowlers brilliantly set up Royal Challengers Bangalore’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.
Rajasthan, cruising along at 91-1 by the halfway mark, was pinned down to 149-9 as spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Yuzvendra Chahal grabbed four wickets between them.
Harshal Patel, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, stretched his wickets tally to 26 by claiming 3-34. The right-arm fast bowler even came close to his second successive hat-trick before claiming all his wickets off his last six deliveries.
Australian Glenn Maxwell made an unbeaten 50 off 30 balls and wicketkeeper-batsman Srikar Bharat scored 44 as Bangalore eased to 153-3 with 17 balls to spare.
Rajasthan’s multi-million dollar signing Chris Morris was smashed for 50 off his four overs that included three fours and a six by Maxwell in the South African fast bowler’s last over.
“We have come back strongly in two back-to-back games with the ball, which is a great sign,” Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli said. “In both games, the opponents were 56-0 in the powerplay, but in both games, we took wickets to ensure the opposition does not getaway.”
Bangalore is third with 14 points and needs just one more win from its remaining three league games to go to the playoffs. Rajasthan is lurching at No. 7 with eight points from 11 games.
Rajasthan seemed to set up a challenging total after West Indian opener Evin Lewis (58) smashed three sixes and five fours in his 37-ball half-century.
But Englishman George Garton, playing in his debut IPL game, removed Lewis in the 12th over when the batsman top-edged a pull shot to wicketkeeper Bharat.
Nadeem and Chahal then ran through the middle order and lower order before Patel provided a perfect finish by claiming three wickets in the last over of the innings.