Dinesh Karthik's bravery with the bat surprised the unbeaten Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday as Royal Challengers Bangalore pulled off a stunning victory against the inaugural champions in the 15th season of the Indian Premier League. Karthik (44 off 23) and Shahbaz Ahmed (45 off 26) sizzled the Wankhede with their batting in the second innings and ensured the Royals tasted their maiden loss.
Earlier, unbeaten Jos Buttler played yet another impressive knock as he scored 70 off just 47 balls and Devdutt Padikkal (37 off 29) and Shimron Hetmyer (42 off 31) added a respective total of 169-3 on board. At the same time, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga and David Willey finished the game with one wicket each. However, Yuzvendra Chahal's redemption in the game was another talking point as he clinched two crucial wickets, most notably assisting Virat Kohli's run-out. While RCB has added one defeat to the Royals' name, they have gained a lot of confidence from the performances of Karthik and Ahmed in the middle order. The match saw some power pack performances from both sides, and let's take a look at a few of the highlights which turned the game around for a while.
1. Unbeaten Jos Buttler
England batter unleashed his beast mode quite early in the season. After scoring an unbeaten 100 in his previous clash, Buttler carried on his form and chopped off the strategy from RCB bowlers by hitting them all around the park. As the Royals lost early wickets and the side was tottering at 86-3 in 12 overs, Buttler played mature innings and stayed until the end. However, his innings had no boundary but six maximums which helped him keep the board ticking at a perfect rate.
Meanwhile, he got much-needed support from Padikkal and Hetmyer lower the order, but Buttler being unbeaten helped the side post a respected total, which was not enough.
2. RCB conceded 42-runs in the last two overs.
The Royals were 127-3 after 18 overs of the first innings, and it looked like they would put 150 max. But, Hetmyer and Buttler had different plans for their side and interestingly, they executed them perfectly. Md. Siraj bowled 19th over in the first innings, and little he knew that he would concede 19 runs in that over. 0, 4, 2, 1, 6, 6 was the reading from his over as both the batters didn't show any mercy. Next was Akash Deep, who started well by conceding just one run in the first ball, but later, he must have regretted taking up the ball to bowl in front of the two most explosive batters in the league. 1, no-ball, 6, 6, 2, 1, 6 was reading from his over.
3. Yuzvendra Chahal's redemption against RCB
Lot was being discussed before the match, as everyone was excited to see how Chahal would perform in front of his former franchise, whom he regards so much. But, it had zero effect on Chahal, as he started hunting down RCB batters right from his first over. He dismissed Faf du Plessis in the 7th over, caused Virat Kohli a run-out, and then packed Willey's bag in the game's second innings. Notably, Chahal was neither retained nor brought back by RCB. Meanwhile, Chahal has always expressed his admiration for the franchise and was seemingly hurt by the franchise's move not to retain him.
4. Vintage Dinesh Karthik
Wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik is ageing like a fine wine. In the second innings, he came to bat when RCB was struggling at 87-5 and remained unbeaten till the last to ensure victory for his side. He built a crucial partnership with Shahbaz Ahmed, as both the batters started slow but eventually turned on their beast mode to surprise the Royals, who were seeking their third successive win. Karthik's inning was studded with seven fours and one six as he smashed an impressive 44 in just 23 balls.