Updated May 12th, 2024 at 23:47 IST

Patidar fifty, gritty bowlers keep RCB in playoff race; Set up knockout clash against CSK

Royal Challengers Bengaluru kept their playoff dreams intact through Rajat Patidar’s blazing fifty and a strong-willed effort from the bowlers, who set up the hosts' 47-run victory over Delhi Capitals in the IPL here on Sunday.

RCB beat DC | Image:BCCI
Advertisement

Royal Challengers Bengaluru kept their playoff dreams intact through Rajat Patidar’s blazing fifty and a strong-willed effort from the bowlers, who set up the hosts' 47-run victory over Delhi Capitals in the IPL here on Sunday.

The target of 188 was not insurmountable, but the Capitals’ chase descended into disarray once they lost four wickets inside 3.3 overs upfront, eventually finishing at 140, with Axar Patel 57 (39b, 5x4, 3x6) playing a lone hand.

Advertisement

RCB now have 12 points from 13 matches – same as the Capitals – and need a win against Chennai Super Kings in the last league match here on May 18 to push their case for a playoff berth.

The Capitals also need a win in their final league game against Lucknow Super Giants on May 14 to stay in the hunt.

Advertisement

Cutting back to the match, Impact Player David Warner, who missed the action for close to a month due to a wrist injury, slog-swept left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh into the waiting hands of Will Jacks at deep.

The dismissal flagged off Capitals’ train of disaster. Left-arm pacer Yash Dayal (3/20) consumed Abhishek Porel, caught at covers by Lockie Ferguson, in the first ball of the third over.

Advertisement

Delhi suffered a body blow in the very next ball. The in-form Jack-Fraser McGurk, who smashed Mohammed Siraj for two fours and a six in the second over, backed up too far as Shai Hope’s straight drive rattled the stumps after taking a deflection of Dayal’s outstretched left-hand.

Siraj trapped Kumar Kushagra, who came in for the suspended Rishabh Pant, plumb in front with a nip-backer as DC slumped to 30 for four.

Advertisement

Axar and Hope (29, 23b) added 56 runs for the fifth wicket off 36 balls but the partnership offered only temporary relief than any real hope to the visitors.

Axar, who took over the reins of DC in the absence of Pant, played a handy innings, but it just delayed the inevitable.

Advertisement

The rest of the DC batters were bogged down by a confused mind, best exemplified by the run out of Tristan Stubbs.

Stubbs sprinted out of the non-striker's crease as if chased by a lion after Axar defended a length ball from Cameron Green, who quickly grabbed the ball and completed the simple task of hitting the stumps.

Advertisement

Earlier, RCB could not exploit Patidar's quick fifty to the optimum, settling for an underwhelming 187 for nine.

Patidar (52, 32b, 3x4, 3x6) and Jacks (41, 29b, 3x4, 2x6) added 88 runs off 53 balls for the third-wicket as RCB overcame the early departures of skipper Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli.

Advertisement

Du Plessis’ slice off pacer Mukesh Kumar was gobbled up by McGurk near third man.

Kohli gave signals of another T20 masterclass while creaming 27 off 13 balls, including two sixes off Ishant Sharma and one off Khaleel Ahmed (2/31).

Advertisement

But a waft outside the off-stump with little foot movement resulted in a catch to stumper Abhishek Porel.

RCB, however, found Patidar in full flow. His first scoring shot was a magnificent cover driven four off Mukesh and he never let that early momentum fade.

Advertisement

The elegance soon gave way for brute force as Patidar brought forth his six-hitting abilities, smashing Axar for two sixes and sending Kuldeep Yadav over long-on for a maximum.

The DC fielders too helped Patidar copiously. Hope dropped the right-hander on 42 off Kuldeep and five runs later Axar grassed him off pacer Rasikh Salam.

Advertisement

At the other end, Jacks, who was given a reprieve on 19 by Axar off Kuldeep, displayed his untrammelled power and the left-arm wrist spinner was at the receiving end, watching the ball sailing over long-on twice.

Just as the alliance was blossoming, DC managed to latch on to a catch.

Advertisement

Axar atoned for his previous failures as he made a fine tumbling catch off Salam to terminate the stay of Patidar.

Jacks soon followed his partner as a weak slap off Kuldeep ended in the hands of Axar at the edge of the ring.

Advertisement

The dismissals of two set batters affected the run-scoring rate of RCB. From 137 for four in 14.4 overs they could only add 50 runs in the remaining overs.

Advertisement

Published May 12th, 2024 at 23:47 IST