Virat Kohli celebrates his fifty during IPL match between RCB and RR at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Courtesy: Twitter
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Yuzvendar Chahal claimed 3-24 before Virat Kohli ended his barren run with an unbeaten 73 as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Saturday.
Kohli seems to have found his mojo with the stupendous knock that came off 53 deliveries as Bangalore went over the line with five balls remaining after restricting Rajasthan to 154/6. Devdutt Padikkal was also in the thick of the action as he smacked his third fifty of the season with the help of six boundaries and one over the fence.
After the departure of Aaron Finch, Kohli and Padikkal combined to anchor the innings and shared a 99-run stand for the second wicket to all but end the hopes of Rajasthan. Both the batsmen played confidently and exercised control over their shots to frustrate Rajasthan’s bowlers. Kohli took his time to get his eyes in before flexing his muscle while Padikkal kept the asking rate in check.
Kohli raced to his first fifty in eight IPL matches with a single off Rahul Tewatia in the 15th over. Padikkal was dimissed by Archer in the 16th over, which brought AB de Villiers to the crease. With their two best batsmen in the middle, Bangalore reached the target without any more hiccups.
De Villiers remained unbeaten on 12. Earlier, Chahal once again spun a web around Royals to thwart them to 154. He accounted for the dismissals of Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa and Mahipal Lomror to rip through the middle order of Rajasthan. Lomrorm scored a fighting 47 and Tewatia played a cameo of 24 off 12 deliveries to help Rajasthan surge to a respectable total. Isuru Udana, who triggered the collapse with the wicket of Steve Smith, returned with figures of 2-41.
STOKES TO JOIN SQUAD
Meanwhile, England all-rounder Ben Stokes is set to join Rajasthan after missing the initial couple of weeks of the ongoing IPL edition in order to be with his family in Christchurch.
On Saturday, the Royals posted a picture of Stokes en route to the UAE on their official Twitter handle. Prior to that, Stokes had posted images of him with his family on Instagram with the caption: 'goodbyes never get easier'.
The 29-year-old will have to undergo six days of quarantine on arrival in the UAE as per the COVID-19 protocols for IPL 2020. In August, Stokes had pulled out of the Pakistan Test series midway in order to be with his family in New Zealand after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
After featuring in the first Test against Pakistan earlier this month, Stokes had excused himself from further participation in the series. Stokes' arrival in the UAE will be a big boost for the Royals as it would add more strength to their batting unit, which is currently heavily dependent on Sanju Samson and Steve Smith.
The likes of Buttler and Uthappa have not been able to perform for the Royals so far. While Uthappa has scored just 33 runs in the four innings he has played for the Royals, Buttler has scored 47 runs in the three innings he has played so far in the tournament. Stokes has so far played 34 IPL matches for the Royals across three seasons, in which he has scored 635 runs and captured 26 scalps as a bowler.
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