The Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs at the MCA International Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. The Challengers posted a score of 180 and the Royals could only muster up 109 all out.
Challengers captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. Chris Gayle hit the first boundary of the game when he hit Chris Morris for four in the first over. Gayle and Kohli got off to cautious but good start and just as they started to accelerate, the Royals picked up the important wicket of the dangerous Gayle. Dhawal Kulkarni clean bowled the West Indian batsman, when he tried to hit the ball out of the park. Kulkarni was not yet done and an over later, he would pick up the key wicket of Challengers captain Kohli. Those two wickets brought AB De Villiers and Mandeep Singh to the crease and the pair would build a partnership with Singh, taking on the Royals bowlers. Despite the partnership, the Royals still managed to contain the Challengers, as they were going at a run-rate of just over 6.5 with 6 overs to go.
The Challengers needed to lift their run-rate if they were to set a big target and they got the much needed acceleration when De Villiers hit Ankit Sharma for two sixes and a four in the 15th over. Both batsmen now had a strike-rate of more than 100 and with 8 wickets in hand, Bangalore were starting to look more dangerous. Singh and De Villiers continued the assault on the bowlers but also had their fair share of luck. The Royals could not break the partnership and continued to leak runs. Morris was hit for two consecutive sixes by De Villiers in the 18th over as the South African brought up his 50 and his teams 150. But the partnership would finally be broken in the 19th over, when De Villiers chanced his arm one too many times and was run-out by Stuart Binny for 66. But Singh continued the assault as he hit the next two balls for a six and a four. Chris Morris would again receive some tap in the last over as the South African fast bowler ended with figures of 1/42 from four overs as Bangalore posted a total of 180 from their 20 overs.
Shane Watson got the Royals off to a flying start by hitting the in-form Mitchell Starc for two fours in the first over. But Sreenath Arvind would get the huge wicket of Watson in the next over as the Australian edge a ball to the wicketkeeper. The Royals would lose another wicket but Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith would slowly start rebuilding their innings. But just as things started to flourish for the Royals, David Wiese got the all important wicket of captain Smith. It looked like an uphill battle for the Royals as they continued to lose wickets but with Rahane still there, they still had a glimmer of hope. But the game would be all but wrapped up in the 14th over, when Yuzvendra Chahal got the important wicket of the Royals batting kingpin Rahane. The Royals lost any last hope they had of winning the game, when Rahane and then James Faulkner were dismissed. The Royals were bowled out for 109 after 19 overs and were knocked out of the competition. The Royal Challengers Bangalore will now face the Chennai Super Kings on Friday, for a place in the final.