Shahbaz Ahmed and Dinesh Karthik powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling 4-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday at Wankhede Stadium. Karthik, who has been in sensational form, stayed till the end to help RCB earn two crucial points against a quality side. Chasing a tricky target of 170, the wicketkeeper batter remained unbeaten on 44 as he also received great support from Ahmed who also scored 45 and turned out to be the X-factor for RCB.
RCB needed 28 runs from the last three overs with an over each left from Trent Boult, Navdeep Saini and Prasidh Krishna. Ahmed decided to attack Boult and smashed him for a six and a four in the 18th over before getting castled by the Kiwi pacer. His 26-ball stay in the middle was laced with 3 sixes and 4 fours.
While Karthik collected 12 runs from the penultimate over from Prasidh Krishna which left just 3 needed to win for RCB in the final over. Rajasthan changed their plan for the final over and gave the ball to Yashasvi Jaiswal as Harshal Patel didn’t waste much time finishing the job and smashed the six on the first ball to seal the game. He scored crucial 9 runs off 4 balls.
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While Karthik slammed 7 fours and a six to help RCB earn another win with his sensational batting performance.
Meanwhile, RR ace spinner Yuzvendra Chahal haunted his former team in the crucial clash with a couple of important wickets and a mega Virat Kohli run-out. Chahal, on Tuesday, played his first match against RCB and dismissed their captain Faf du Plessis in his first over. He also dismissed England’s David Willey with a sharp leg spin. Meanwhile, he hurt RCB the most with Virat Kohli’s run-out. Chahal teamed up with his new skipper Sanju Samson to dismiss his former captain. It was a very close run-out and a fraction of a second could have changed the verdict.
RCB were five down for 87 runs when Karthik and Ahmed took responsibility on their shoulders to revive the chase with a crucial 67-run partnership.
Earlier, Jos Buttler hammered half a dozen sixes in his unbeaten 70 as Rajasthan Royals grafted their way to 169.
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Buttler, fresh off a hundred in the previous game, had to work hard in his 47-ball knock on a slow Wankhede pitch. He had the support of Shimron Hetmyer (42 not out off 31) at the other end as the duo shared an unbeaten 83-run stand off 51 balls. Royals did not have the best of times in Powerplay, reaching 35 with the loss of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (4).
Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal (37 off 29) started playing their strokes after the Powerplay and shared a 70-run stand to give the innings a move on. At one stage, 150 looked difficult for Rajasthan after disciplined middle-overs from Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel. However, in the end, Buttler and Hetmyer switched gears in the last two overs to collect 42 runs from them. For RCB, Hasaranga, Patel and Willey shared a wicket each.
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