Bengaluru: Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell smashed another big partnership and Harshal Patel held his nerve as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals in a big-scoring Indian Premier League thriller on Sunday.
Trent Boult trapped Virat Kohli leg-before first ball for his 100th wicket and the Kiwi quick had Bangalore reeling on 12-2 with the scalp of Shahbaz Ahmed inside an electric M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
But du Plessis — the top-scorer of the current Indian Premier League edition — and Maxwell soon got Bangalore out of trouble and ended up hammering 127 runs off only 66 balls.
Glimmer of hope
Maxwell led the way with 77 off 44 while du Plessis hit 62 off 39 balls before being run out for 62. Maxwell switch-hit Ravichandran Ashwin straight to Jason Holder at backward point. Dinesh Karthik again failed to impress at the death, making just 16 off 13 and Bangalore ended with a total of 189-9 that gave table-topping Rajasthan more than a glimmer of hope of victory.
But the pink brigade’s Jos Buttler became the second star batter to depart for a duck, cleaned up by a jubilant Mohammed Siraj on the England captain’s second ball.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal then added 98 runs for the second wicket but they fell in the space of 12 deliveries, with Harshal getting Jaiswal for 47 and David Willey the wicket of Padikkal for 52.
Sanju Samson managed only 22, while Shimron Hetmyer was run out cheaply for three. Dhruv Jurel smacked 34 not out off 16 balls, while Ashwin threw his bat around to bring the game down to the last over.
But despite scoring 10 off three balls Ashwin was caught for 12 going for a big heave to give Harshal his third wicket of the game and Bangalore a seven-run victory.
“It is about momentum at this ground,” said losing skipper Samson.
“Normally, Hetmyer does it for us, but he had an off game. We have now lost two games in a row. It is time to pull up our socks and come back stronger.”