IPL 2014 Results: RCB Crumble Quicker Than a Cookie as Rajasthan Royals Romp Home
By Deepak Vikraman | April 26, 2014 11:19 PM EST
Memo to Chris Gayle - Recover from that back injury quickly, RCB need you, desperately!
In one of the most abject batting performances you are ever likely to see in the IPL, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and their much-vaunted batting lineup decided to have a collective off-day, with the Rajasthan Royals the beneficiary, unable to hide their delight, as batsmen after batsmen crashed around them.
After losing the toss for the first time, and being put into bat, something they clearly do not like to do, RCB pressed the choke, panic and disaster button all at once without letting go, to fold for a mere 70 runs -- the third lowest in IPL history; ironically the lowest total of 58 was managed by the Royals against the Royal Challengers way back in 2009.
The game was done and dusted after the first innings with the Royals comfortably chasing the target down in just 13 overs with six wickets to spare.
It might be time to term this RCB side, particularly without the injured Gayle, a bowling side with a couple of potent batsmen, rather than the other way around, which was the consensus before the start of the tournament.
Three times the bowling has come up trumps for RCB in IPL 2014, while the batsmen have now choked for the second game running, after that stunning loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders a couple of days back.
Ajinkya Rahane opened the batting with Karun Nair, playing his first IPL match of the season, with the former quickly getting into his stride, caressing a couple of nice boundaries in the first over.
Rahane looked in great touch with the right-hander seemingly keen to end the match as quickly as possible, but after a 19-ball 23-run (4x4, 0x6) effort, the elegant opener fell to Mitchell Starc.
A bad decision to go for a second run led to Sanju Samson's demise soon after, before Karun Nair threw his bat at a wide delivery to find the edge off Mitchell Starc, leaving the Royals on 36 for three in the seventh over.
However, that panic button remained firmly perched amongst the RCB batting ranks as Shane Watson and Abhishek Nayar pushed RR closer to the never-gonnabe-enough target, with a partnership of 32 runs.
Watson gave his wicket away, holing out to AB De Villiers off Yuzvendra Chahal looking to finish the match with a six, a delivery after smashing one over cow corner, but with just three runs needed for victory, it was just the merest of blips as RR cantered home in the very next delivery.
Calling the first innings a disaster from RCB's point of view, would be understating it, as one of the best batting teams in the IPL caved in quicker than a house built of paper during a tornado, with the excuse of a difficult pitch also not there to help them explain away this abysmal performance.
The carnage began in the very first over, with no signs of the wicket-train abating from there as the Rajasthan Royals felt like school kids who had just been taken on a field trip to the most delectable candy shop you can imagine.
Stuart Binny, opening the bowling, got Yogesh Takawale out in just the third ball of the innings, with the RCB opener only managing an outside edge through to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson while attempting a big hit over the leg side.
Virat Kohli, then, of all people, called Parthiv Patel for a single that was never there, with the left-hander falling short at the wicketkeeper's end as the Royals celebrated wickets off consecutive deliveries.
At one for two after the first over, RCB were already facing a big climb back to respectability in terms of posting a decent score, but two wickets off two balls in the third over put paid to even those hopes.
Kane Richardson first found the outside edge of Yuvraj Singh through to Steven Smith in the slips off his first delivery of the innings, before AB De Villiers chopped onto his stumps next ball to send RCB into deep, deep trouble.
We all know Kohli is good, but not even the in-form Indian tyro could find dust with enough magic in it to pull his side from sinking quicker than a boat with a few hundred holes.
Sachin Rana lasted all of eight deliveries, before he became Royals' fifth victim of the Powerplay - captain Shane Watson helping himself to an easy wicket with the batsman playing onto his stumps.
Kohli and Albie Morkel tried to fill-in as many of the holes as they could to prevent the ship from slipping, but after a 20-ball stay worth 11 runs together, the latter's patience ran out and so did his time at the crease.
With wickets tumbling around him, Kohli looked to find as many boundaries as quickly as possible, and after hitting a couple of them, perished looking for another with Tim Southee picking up a simple catch for Pravin Tambe's second wicket of the innings.
Tambe (four for 20) would add a couple more to his kitty, as RCB folded for a where-did-it-all-go-wrong 70, a score which needed to be at least doubled for the Royals to be given even the remotest of scares.
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