IPL: Gopal, Buttler keep RCB searching for first win
Shreyas Gopal bamboozled a struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore and Jos Buttler blasted a half-century as Rajasthan Royals got up and running in the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket win.
There was more misery for Virat Kohli in his 100th game as RCB captain at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, where his side could only post 158-4 after Gopal took 3-12 from his four overs on Tuesday.
Gopal doubled his wicket tally for the tournament with a brilliant leg-spinning exhibition, dismissing Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer.
Parthiv Patel top scored with 67 from 41 balls for Bangalore, who were thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, but his first half-century of the 2019 IPL was not enough to prevent his side from being the only team without a victory.
The Royals, missing Sanju Samson due to a niggle, sealed their first two points after Buttler smashed 59 from 43 balls.
Yuzvendra Chahal (2-17) gave RCB hope, but Steve Smith made 38 and Rahul Tripathi capitalised on being dropped early in his innings to score an unbeaten 34, hitting a six to win it off the penultimate ball.
GOPAL PUTS RCB IN A SPIN
Kohli moved up to open for the second time in the tournament, but the skipper missed out in his landmark match as skipper.
Parthiv and Kohli put on 49 before Gopal claimed the huge wicket of the mercurial India captain, who was flummoxed by a ripper of a googly and bowled through the gate for 23.
De Villiers was caught and bowled in the tweaker’s next over and he had a third wicket when Hetmyer was caught behind, reducing RCB to 73-3 midway through their innings.
It was left for Parthiv – who struck a six and nine fours – to lay the platform for a late flurry from debutant Marcus Stoinis (31* from 28) and Moeen Ali (18* off 9)
BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT
Buttler failed twice after he was the victim of a Ravichandran Ashwin ‘Mankad’ but he was back in the groove at the top of the order.
The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman struck Navdeep Saini for back-to-back boundaries after Ajinkya Rahane was dropped by Kohli in the second over and did the same to Stoinis in his first over for his new franchise.
Buttler continued to rocket along, reaching his half-century from 38 balls with a glorious straight drive off England team-mate Moeen, who he also pulled for six before he struck the crafty Chahal – who also removed Rahane – to Stoinis at long-off.
RAHUL ENSURES RCB TRIP UP AGAIN
Smith was not at his fluent best, but used his experience to rotate the strike and score at over a run a ball.
Chahal should have had a third wicket when Umesh Yadav dropped Tripathi in the deep on nine before Smith hammered Mohammed Siraj for six.
Smith fell off the final ball of the 19th over from Siraj, but with only five needed from the last over, Tripathi hooked Yadav over the ropes to win it in emphatic fashion. (Sportsmax)