Royal Challengers Bangalore have beaten Rajasthan Royals by 71 runs after half centuries from Mandeep Singh and AB De Villiers turned around their innings.
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The game started well for Rajasthan, who removed Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in the opening overs to put their opponents on the back foot at 46-2 off eight overs. With only AB De Villiers left of their ‘big three’ batsmen, the Challengers had a long innings ahead.
However, the South African rebuilt the innings with the unheralded Mandeep. Both ended up with 50s, as Bangalore ended on 180-4 despite their faltering start. Singh’s half century was the first of the competition for RCB and not from the bat of either Gayle, Kohli, or De Villiers.
Even after the late surge, Rajasthan will have still fancied their chances. However, they will not have been planning on losing Shane Watson and Sanju Samson early doors. 34-2 from five overs quickly became 83-4 off 13, with the loss Steve Smith particularly damaging.
However, it was here that the collapse really started. Six wickets were lost for just 26 runs, and they were all out for just 109 in the end. The unlucky wicket of Faulkner, caught off his boot, summed up the luck of the hapless RR.
Do Royal Challengers Bangalore have the quality to become the first ever team to win the IPL after playing in the first eliminator?