Royal Challengers Show Signs of Redemption with 21-run Win Over Gujarat Lions

Match report

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) produced more like the kind of performance you expect of them, against Gujarat Lions (GL), and gave the impression that they might be able to get their season back on track. The batting came good for once, and the bowlers were good enough to help their team seal a 21-run win over Suresh Raina’s men. The hosts’ bowling attack, despite a couple of changes—Dhawal Kulkarni coming in for Praveen Kumar and Shivil Kaushik replacing Munaf Patel—was docile and the Royal Challengers batsmen finally found some form.

Mind you, AB de Villiers didn’t feature for the South Indian franchise, who, as a result, were able to bring in Chris Gayle and also replaced Samuel Badree with Travis Head, in a bid to bolster the stuttering batting line-up. And, unless you are a Gujarat Lions fan, you will have enjoyed the clean-hitting which was on display during the Bangalore innings, from Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Travis Head, and Kedar Jadhav.

Gayle batted fluently for the first time this season, but again, Gujarat’s bowlers bowled the lengths that the Jamaican feasts on: quite full and in the arc for Gayle to bring his bat down on the ball and hit straight down the ground. They also had a couple of left-arm spinners, who, because they didn’t spin the ball big, enabled Gayle to line them up and pick a spot to deposit the ball. The destructive Gayle who we’ve all come to know and expect finally had arrived… after being dropped four two of RCB’s first five matches and looking out of touch.

62 of Gayle’s 77 runs came in boundaries and more importantly, he scored his runs in 38 balls, helping his team post a massive total. Gayle and Royal Challengers need to be consistent if they want to climb up the table, but this night showed that they are capable of coming good.

With Gayle batting as he did, Virat Kohli’s job became easier. He had to rotate strike and being a great batsman himself, he picked the right balls to hit and collected boundaries easily too. You have to say that Kohli (64) played the ideal foil for Gayle, with whom he shared a 122-run first-wicket partnership.

Kedar Jadhav (38*) was in supreme touch on the night and his clean striking towards the end was the reason why Royal Challengers reached 213/2. As usual, the Maharashtra batsman played nonchalantly, timing the ball well, finding the gaps, and giving a T20 batting masterclass… without actually playing the fancy shots. Travis Head (30*) was not one to miss out on the superb platform provided by Gayle and Kohli.

Although 214 was not an insurmountable target, particularly with the pitch assisting good strokeplay and offering virtually nothing for seamers and spinners, Royal Challengers had given themselves a good cushion of runs.

RCB’s bowling attack, like Gujarat’s, was quite docile too. But the challenge for Lions was managing the required run rate efficiently and thereby transferring the pressure onto the bowling side.

They unenviably lost a wicket early, of Dwayne Smith, but Suresh Raina walked in at No. 3 and gave the innings the necessary impetus. But his was a short stay at the crease, as Yuzvendra Chahal deceived him in the flight and got Raina to play a false shot with no timing on the ball. Shane Watson, stationed at short fine leg, took an easy catch to leave Gujarat 37/2 after four overs.

Brendon McCullum started to shift gears after the fall of Raina and carried on from where he left off at the Wankhede Stadium two evenings ago. He found the boundary regularly and kept the required run rate hovering around the manageable 10 to 11 an over mark. Aaron Finch, however, didn’t replicate the rate at which McCullum was scoring, so Royal Challengers weren’t threatened from both the ends. And having spent considerable time in the middle and played 15 balls, Finch (19) fell, making the task that bit harder for McCullum.

McCullum was playing a lone hand here, but having kept the required rate well within a manageable level, he didn’t quite feel the pinch yet. The problem for McCullum was the wickets that started falling at the other end. Dinesh Karthik failed with the bat yet again in a chase, falling eight balls after Finch had been dismissed.

Ravindra Jadeja walked in at the fall of Karthik’s wicket and tried to take some of the pressure off McCullum’s shoulder. But Jadeja, like Finch, wasn’t scoring at the rate which was necessary to keep Gujarat in the hunt.

With the match on a knife’s edge, Yuzvendra Chahal came on to bowl his last over, the 15th of GL’s innings and with the hosts needing 80 runs off the last six overs.

Still not impossible, mind you!

The former New Zealand captain, given the state of the innings and the target in front of him and his team, went after Chahal and tried to hit him to the cow corner against the spin. McCullum went for a slog sweep and only managed to balloon the ball up in the air off the top edge for compatriot Adam Milne, fielding at deep mid-wicket, to take a simple catch.

Royal Challengers could smell victory once they had gotten McCullum’s wicket. Young Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan showed what he is capable of with the bat, by striking the ball well and clearing the boundary on multiple occasions and decreasing the margin of defeat for the Lions, through his 16-ball 39.

For Gujarat, Kishan showcasing his big-hitting ability and Basil Thampi bowling a great spell of fast bowling against batsmen of arguably the highest quality were the major positives on the night.

Gujarat Lions v Royal Challengers Bangalore, 20th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Gujarat: 1. Suresh Raina (c), 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Dwayne Smith, 4. Dinesh Karthik, 5. Aaron Finch, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Ishan Kishan, 8. Andrew Tye, 9. Dhawal Kulkarni, 10. Basil Thampi, and 11. Shivil Kaushik

Bangalore: 1. Virat Kohli, 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Shane Watson, 4. Kedar Jadhav, 5. Stuart Binny, 6. Mandeep Singh, 7. Sreenath Aravind, 8. Pawan Negi, 9. Adam Milne, 10. Travis Head, and 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Scores

RCB: 213/2 (Gayle 77 and Kohli 64; Thampi 1/31)
GL: 192/7 (B McCullum 72 and Kishan 39; Chahal 3/31)

Result: Royal Challengers beat Gujarat Lions by 21 runs in the 20th match of IPL 2017, at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot. Chris Gayle was awarded the man-of-the-match for his blistering 38-ball 77 (5×4 and 7×6)

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Innings (toss: Gujarat, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Chris Gayle leg before wicket Thampi 77 (38) 5 7 202.63
Virat Kohli caught D Smith, bowled Kulkarni 64 (50) 7 1 128.00
Travis Head not out 30 (16) 2 1 187.50
Kedar Jadhav not out 38 (16) 5 2 237.50
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Shane Watson, Mandeep Singh, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Sreenath Aravind, Adam Milne, and Yuzvendra Chahal,
Extras: 4 (3 wides and 1 leg bye)
RCB’s total: 213/2 in 20 overs, at 10.65 runs per over
RCB’s fall of wickets: 122/1 (Gayle, 12.4) and 159/2 (Kohli, 15.5)
Gujarat Lions (GL) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Dhawal Kulkarni 4 8 37 1 9.25
Basil Thampi 4 11 31 1 7.75
Andrew Tye 4 9 34 0 8.50
Ravindra Jadeja 4 4 57 0 14.25
Shivil Kaushik 3 4 36 0 12.00
Dwayne Smith 1 0 17 0 17.00
Gujarat Innings (target: 214 runs in 20 overs, at 10.70 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Dwayne Smith caught Mandeep, bowled Chahal 1 (4) 0 0 25.00
Brendon McCullum caught Milne, bowled Chahal 72 (44) 2 7 163.63
Suresh Raina caught Watson, bowled Chahal 23 (8) 2 2 287.50
Aaron Finch stumped Jadhav, bowled Negi 19 (15) 2 1 126.66
Dinesh Karthik caught Kohli, bowled Aravind 1 (4) 0 0 25.00
Ravindra Jadeja run out Jadhav 23 (22) 2 0 104.54
Ishan Kishan caught Chahal, bowled Milne 39 (16) 2 4 243.75
Andrew Tye not out 6 (6) 0 0 100.00
Basil Thampi not out 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Dhawal Kulkarni and Shivil Kaushik
Extras: 8 (6 wides and 2 leg byes)
GL’s total: 192/7 in 20 overs, at 9.60 runs per over
GL’s fall of wickets: 1/1 (D Smith, 1.2), 37/2 (Raina, 3.6), 103/3 (Finch, 9.4), 106/4 (Karthik, 10.6), 137/5 (B McCullum, 14.4), 165/6 (R Jadeja, 17.4), and 191/7 (Kishan, 19.4)
Bangalore Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Pawan Negi 4 17 21 1 5.25
Yuzvendra Chahal 4 8 31 3 7.75
Sreenath Aravind 4 7 53 1 13.25
Adam Milne 4 7 43 1 10.75
Shane Watson 2 1 24 0 12.00
Travis Head 2 1 18 0 9.00

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