Royal Challengers v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Bangalore April 15, 2012

Centurion Rahane stars in big win for Royals


Rajasthan Royals 195 for 2 (Rahane 103*, Shah 60) beat 136 Royal Challengers Bangalore (Agarwal 34, Trivedi 4 for 25) by 59 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The game was effectively over when the players walked off for the innings break. Ajinkya Rahane's blistering, unbeaten 103 brought up the first century of IPL 2012, propelling Rajasthan Royals to 195 against an already battered Royal Challengers Bangalore. Assisted by Owais Shah's equally intimidating 60, the Royals piled on a score way beyond reach for the hosts and such was the dominance that the chase turned out to be a tepid affair.

Rahane also smashed six consecutive fours off an over - the first in Twenty20 history, S Aravind being the unfortunate bowler. Rahane and Shah - ten years apart - didn't just deliver for the team's cause but also nudged their respective national team selectors ahead of the World Twenty20, each getting two big scores so far this IPL. Their bowlers - led by Siddharth Trivedi - backed them up, hitting their targets like efficient salesmen, getting six batsmen bowled.

Ironically, the losing side had the bigger names. With the likes of Daniel Vettori, Muttiah Muralitharan and Zaheer Khan to contend with, it appeared as if the Royals worked to the plan of exploiting the less-experienced Indian bowlers. It was an extension of Royal Challengers' affliction from the match against Chennai Super Kings, when Virat Kohli leaked 28 off the penultimate over of the game.

At one stage, Aravind conceded 48 off three overs, almost the same number given away by Zaheer, Vettori and Murali off ten combined overs. A less-than-fit Chris Gayle, recovering from a groin injury, came on in the 16th over more as an act of desperation by Vettori and didn't fare any better than the other weak links, leaking 21.

The hammering Rahane dished out was reminiscent of Brendon McCullum's butchering at the same venue in the IPL's opening game in 2008. He began by splitting the gap past cover and backward point for two fours off Aravind in the second over. The onslaught that followed was so brutal that it's easy to forget Zaheer bowled a maiden over to Rahane, the third of the innings. Rahane showed no such respect for Aravind the following over, taking 15 off it, including a massive hit over long-on.

Vettori and Murali then pulled things back with five relatively quiet overs, going for 23. Vettori's spell only widened the gap between him and the rest. He varied his pace and flight, fired in the quicker ones to keep the batsmen guessing.

Rahane's merciless approach was best illustrated in the 14th over, which produced six fours. He drove Aravind forcefully down the ground off the first two balls, scooped the third to fine leg, pulled the fourth to midwicket, drove the fifth past cover and delicately dabbed the six to third man. Aravind varied his pace and length, AB de Villiers came up to the stumps but nothing deterred Rahane.

Shah began his party with a top-edged six over long leg, before ripping into Gayle. Vinay Kumar aimed for the blockhole, but somehow Shah found a way to get under the bounce and slam sixes down the ground. He brought up his fifty off just 19 balls before launching into Murali. He tried the same against a slower Zaheer delivery but was caught at long-on.

At the other end, Rahane started the final over needing seven for his century and he required just three balls to get there. After driving Vinay past mid-off, he flat-batted the third ball just past long-on's grasp to bring up the landmark. The Royals hammered 113 off the last seven overs, the third-best in IPL history.

Royal Challengers began the chase in enterprising manner, with Mayank Agarwal pulling the first ball for six over fine leg. But a double-strike by Pankaj Singh in the fifth over derailed the chase and took the fight out of the hosts. Agarwal was caught off a top-edge and two balls later, Gayle dragged one onto his stumps.

That followed a period of prolonged struggle for Royal Challengers, stumbling against the asking rate, compounded by the steady fall of wickets. The boundary drought lasted an unforgivable 37 deliveries and that was thanks largely to Trivedi's nagging line and slower deliveries bowled from back of a length, assisted by the slow pitch. De Villiers played on to one that kept low, Kohli and Saurabh perished swinging across the line, before Vettori lost his leg stump giving the bowler the charge. Trivedi's 4 for 23 was his personal best in the IPL and the combined efforts launched the Royals to the top of the table.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tanmay on April 18, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    the test team will look something like this after SRT-VVS era ends - Gambhir/Rahane/Kohli/Sehwag/Rohit/Pujara/Saha/Harbhajan/Rahul Sharma/Yadav/Aaron with Gambhir leading the test team....we will have a third seamer in form of Dinda for tests played outside India. the ODI team will be Gambhir/Sehwag/Rahane/Kohli(c)/Yuvraj/Rohit/Dhoni/Irfan/Yadav/Aaron/Rahul Sharma with Manoj Tiwary/Dinda/Ojha in reserves.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    I think Shah should be in Englands 20 20 world cup squad. He has experience in playing in the sub continent. He hits all around the ground and is in good form. In terms of the longer forms of the game I think he has passed it. Particulary in Test matches. For the Royals..they should play

    Dravid Rahane Shah Hodge Goswami(wkt) Meneria Faiz Fazal Nayan Doshi Hogg Tait Sreesanth

    Trevedi bowled well in the last match but often out of the attack who gets hit for more runs than the rest. Tait and sreesanth come into the side as even though they might get hit for a few runs they are genuine wicket takers which the Royals lacked against the Mumbai Indians. Doshi comes in to the side as he is a left arm bowler who would complement Hogg and who has a decent record at 20 20 level. Hodge and shah stay in the top 4 as you need your best batsmen to be given the best opportunity to bat.Hodge stays in because of his top batting at this level and his ability to bowl tidy off-spin.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    For upcoming T20 Worldcup: Rahane, Shehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Dhoni, Raina (batsmen) Jadeja/Irfan (alrounders) R Sharma/Ashwin(spinners) Zak/U Yadav/Dinda(bowlers) Uthappa/R Sharma (reserve batsmen)... Same team as someone suggested above but Yuvi may not have recovered by that time + Kohli is in awesome form and cannot be ignored. For Ashwin ,I would suggest Harbhajan for T20's only (not for ODI and tests).Rest team is awesome with right blend of players who can build an innings at run a ball + big hitters.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    If players like Rahane, Tiwary, RohitSharma, Pujara make Kohli's determination and hardworking ethics then Indian batting can be more awesome compared SRT,RD,Ganguly,VVS era. Batting in a years time after Sachin should like this Gambhir,RohitSharma,Kohli,Rahane,Pujara,Tiwary(reserve) +Wicketkeeper + 3 bowlers atleast in test matches

  • Duncan on April 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    He was overshadowed slightly in this game but Owais Shah has been in phenomenal T20 form of late. From the big bash league to here - just amazingly consistent. The England management is a stubborn bunch, but surely they should try and get him in the world cup squad.

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Should be given a chance in the national squad...

  • Ash on April 16, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    My team for the T20 WC: Rahane, Shehwag, Gambhir, Yuvi, Dhoni, Raina (batsmen) Jadeja/Irfan (alrounders) R Sharma/Ashwin(spinners) Zak/U Yadav/Dinda(bowlers) Uthappa/R Sharma (reserve batsmen)

  • Ash on April 16, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @ Aniruddha Shidhaye, if your hero got there o talent then Rahane should be there as well with pure talent. Its your hero who is clinging on to the team with past records for the sake of records not for the team. He was never a team man and no one doubt about it. If you still need his services, ask him to coach your kids. We need to think about future team India. We do not want to see a future team India with 11 record chasing players. We need good role models who are ready to do anything for team, not clinging to open in ODI but not in tests even when there are no openrs.

  • Harish on April 16, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    @ Aniruddha Shidhaye - I agree. SRT needs to play till he is 60, since he is a 'legend' and no one has the right to tell him when to retire. Rahane can meanwhile strut his stuff till IPL 2030.

  • Michael on April 16, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Although I don't see it mentioned here or on this list,, this list does suggest that Owais Shah's 19-ball fifty surely equalled the second-quickest fifty in IPL history. I also don't see what Shah did mentioned widely in the Britiish media. There seems to be no mention of it on the BBC's web site; indeed the only IPL-related matter on the BBC web site seems to be some speculation about whether playing in it will make Kevin Pietersen a better player. All of this is ironic given KP's well-publicised recent grumbles about lack of publicity in Britain for the IPL. It seems to demonstrate that while the British media is so insular that it truly doesn't recognise the IPL - not even notable achievements therein by players such as Shah and Mascharenas (each of whom is in truth more English than KP) - KP personally literally doesn't need to do anything to appear all over the headlines in the British media.

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