The 53rd match saw Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore go against one another at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur to see who would move into the playoffs of the IPL 2018. Both RR and RCB needed a big win to better their net run rates and compete with Mumbai Indians.
Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and chose to bat first. Virat Kohli revealed that he would have bowled first if he had won the toss, meaning a win-win situation for both teams. Heinrich Klaasen, S Gopal, and Ben Laughlin came into the RR side, while RCB went in unchanged.
RR experimented with Jofra Archer as an opener, but Yadav removed him for a duck in the first second itself. Rahul Tripathi (80 in 58 balls; 5x4s, 3x6s) and Ajinkya Rahane (33 off 31) balls added 99 runs 12 odd overs. Yadav was brought back again into the attack and he removed Rahane and Samson on consecutive balls to end up with figures of 3/25 in 4 overs. He was the best bowler from RCB side.
Heinrich Klaasen (32 off 21) and K Gowtham (14 off 5 balls) helped Tripathi take RR to 164/5, about 20-30 runs less than what they would have liked in this must-win game.
RCB needed to chase down 164 in 15.5 overs to better their run rate in comparison to Mumbai Indians and go ahead of them in the points table. However, their start was less than ideal, as Virat Kohli was bowled by Gowtham for 4. Parthiv Patel (33 off 20 balls; 3x4s, 2x6s) scored briskly before he was stumped by Klaasen off Gopal. He had added 55 runs with AB de Villiers for the second wicket, before his departure.
After that, RR leg spinners S Gopal and Ish Sodhi put up a spin clinic as RCB batting collapsed against them. Gopal removed Moeen Ali (1), Mandeep Singh (3) and AB de Villiers (53) to crush the backbone of the RCB crush. Ish Sodhi accounted for the dangerous Colin de Grandhomme (2), as RCB slipped to 98/6 in 13 overs. Gopal ended up with figures of 4/16 in four overs.
It was carnage truly from the RR bowlers, as Ben Laughlin too got into the act removing Sarfaraz (7) and Umesh (0). Heinrich Klaasen backup his good batting in this match, with excellent keeping, making 4 dismissals, including a classic one-handed catch.
RCB totally collapsed under the pressure of achieving the target in fewer than 16 overs and RR spinners came to the fore when it was needed the most. RCB bowed out of this tournament’s playoffs race, while despite winning, RR’s NRR makes it difficult for them to make it into the final four. They will benefit from MI and KKR losing their respective last matches with big margins.
RR 164/5 (R TRIPATHI 80; U YADAV 3/25) defeated RCB 134 (AB DE VILLIERS 53; S GOPAL 4/16) by 30 runs