RR vs RCB: Deja Vu. Almost.
A distraught Jaipur crowd watches as a disciplined bowling performance and a whirlwind 62 from KP helps RCB beat RR in a similar manner as they did a month ago.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 132 for 5 (Pietersen 62) beat Rajasthan Royals 130 for 6 by 5 wickets
RCB Team Strategy
The minute the toss was lost, the message was clear. Only a repeat of the last encounter would do. And there were surprises in store. Pankaj Singh had been kept warm in the nets over the last month, and was unleashed on his home ground. Overjoyed at the opportunity, he promptly began with a wicket maiden. And bounced the Royals to good effect, ending with 2-27 from his four over spell.
Photograph courtesy Chief Photographer Ashish Parmar
Kevin Pietersen. Classy flicks were coupled with muscled heaves and elegant drives en route to a match winning 62 off just 29 balls. Plus a sharp catch to get rid of the dangerous Shane Watson. Just a week prior, he'd spoken passionately about how playing for RCB in Bangalore would be one of the highlights of his career. He certainly did his chances a world of good for the home game against Mumbai Indians.
Although it was more of a culmination, Dale Steyn's scorcher to a back-foot-rooted Yusuf Pathan provided the TKO from which the Royals never returned.
Bollywood music mostly but the local crowd didn't have much to cheer about. The only thing that stood out was the "Halla Bol" chant that, when played, echoed across the stadium in a spooky way. Brrr.
It was a bit like being at the races, with an open-to-the-sky stadium and the presence of cognoscenti. The terrace stands seemed like fun, providing a view that people utilised in the old days- sitting on the top floor of high rise buildings adjacent to the stadium for an India ODI. All in all, though, it was evident why the Royals chose to play a majority of their home games in Ahmedabad.
A comprehensive victory to seal a semifinal berth in a relatively small arena. The chase could have been faster, though. A-