Cape Town - The Royal Challengers Bangalore have crushed the Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs in the Indian Premier League Eliminator at the Maharashtra Association Cricket Stadium in Pune on Wednesday.
The supersport.com website reports that Bangalore posted a tough 180 for four in their 20 overs thanks to half centuries from AB de Villiers and Mandeep Singh after Virat Kohli had won the toss and elected to bat first. Rajasthan were then bundled out for just 109 in 19 overs thanks to a collective bowling effort from the Royal Challengers to setup a meeting with the Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi for a spot in the final.
De Villiers, who picked up the man of the match award, and Mandeep shared in a third-wicket stand of 114 off 70 deliveries after Chris Gayle (27) and Kohli (12) had given Bangalore a steady start with an opening stand of 41 off 38 balls.
Mandeep was the early aggressor in the partnership but De Villiers, who had scored just 16 runs off his first 19 deliveries, smashed four boundaries and four maximums in his 38-ball innings before being run out for 66. Mandeep ended unbeaten on 54 from 34 balls, a fluent innings that contained seven boundaries and two sixes.
Dhawal Kulkarni (4-0-28-2) was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers, dismissing both Gayle and Kohli in the space of nine balls. The right-arm fast bowler first clean bowled the big West Indian demolition man and then had Kohli caught and bowled.
The Rajasthan reply whimpered with only Ajinkya Rahane (42) making any form contribution. Rahane faced 39 deliveries and struck four boundaries but was way off his fluent-best. The next-best effort was Steve Smith and Karun Nair, who both scored 12 off 13 balls.
Harshal Patel (2-15), legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2-20), Sreenath Aravind (2-20) and South Africa’s David Wiese (2-32) all picked up a brace of wickets while Bangalore’s leading wicket-taker, Mitchell Starc, managed just a single scalp for 22 runs in his four overs despite playing with a back injury.
The Royals Challengers Bangalore will now take on the Super Kings in Ranchi on Friday in the second Qualifier, after the Super Kings were beaten by the Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier on Tuesday. The winner of the Ranchi encounter will face-off against Mumbai for the 2015 Pepsi IPL title.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: V Kohli (captain), CH Gayle, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, KD Karthik (wicketkeeper), SN Khan, D Wiese, MA Starc, HV Patel, YS Chahal, S Aravind
Rajasthan Royals: AM Rahane, SR Watson, SPD Smith (captain), SV Samson (wicketkeeper), JP Faulkner, KK Nair, CH Morris, DJ Hooda, STR Binny, DS Kulkarni, Ankit Sharma