Rajasthan Royals pick up easy win after Challengers tumble
The Royal Challengers had a disappointing day at Abu Dhabi, posting just 70 on their debut at the ground and losing the game against the Rajasthan Royals by 6 wickets.
Virat Kohli lost his first toss of the season, and Shane Watson put RCB in to bat first. Watson’s decision proved to be perfect seeing the way the RCB batting lineup responded. In just the 1st over, RCB lost both their openers. The 3rd over saw more damage with Kane Richardson picking wickets off his first 2 deliveries. Kohli and Rana tried to consolidate, but Rana fell pretty soon too. At the end of 6 overs, RCB were 22/5.
RR kept tightening the screws with Morkel perishing next. Kohli looked to counter attack, but the lack of support from the other end meant he was mostly waging a lone battle. His misery was ended when he scooped a ball straight to Southee. Mitchell Starc and Ravi Rampaul, the two overseas bowlers swung their bats to push the total but it was definitely not enough.
Pravin Tambe was the pick of the bowlers for the Royals from Rajasthan - taking 4/20 in his 4 overs. The tone of the innings was well set up right in the start with Tim Southee and Kane Richardson putting a choke on any scoring whatsoever. RR were comfortable enough with their bowling that they did not need the mastery of Rajat Bhatia - giving him just the 1 over to bowl. RCB were eventually bowled out for just 70 in 15 overs - the first time they were bowled in 30 innings since 2012.
Ajinkya Rahane came out to open with a new opening partner this time - debutant Karun Nair. Rahane was looking good at the start, taking 19 off Mitchell Starc’s first 2 overs. However Starc got one back when Rahane was caught behind off his bowling. The next over saw the run out of Sanju Samson because of some athletic work by Yogesh Takawale. In his next over, Starc dismissed Nair too - again caught behind. At the end of 8 overs, RR were 46/3.
From here on, there was not much more to cheer about for RCB with Watson and Nayar playing out the overs, content to pick up the singles. Chahal bowled well, beginning with a maiden and picking up the wicket of Shane Watson right after being hit for a 6. Abhishek Nayar survived a close run out call during the partnership with Watson and got the winning runs for RR with an outside edge off his bat going for 3 runs to wrap it all up.
Royal Challengers Bangalore face the Kings XI Punjab in their next match, at Dubai on 28th April at 8PM IST.