Rajasthan Royals v RCB, Eliminator, IPL 2015, Pune May 20, 2015

De Villiers, Mandeep fifties crush Royals

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Royal Challengers Bangalore 180 for 4 (De Villiers 66, Mandeep 54*, Kulkarni 2-28) beat Rajasthan Royals 109 (Rahane 42, Harshal 2-15, Aravind 2-20, Chahal 2-20) by 71 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Agarkar: Royals needed openers to get some runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore set up a clash with Chennai Super Kings for a place in the final as they sent Rajasthan Royals out of the tournament with a commanding performance.

Two of the big three Royal Challengers batsmen failed, but the third, AB de Villiers, made up for that with 66 off 38. Mandeep Singh chose a knockout game to make the first half-century of the season from a Royal Challengers batsman not answering to those three big names. De Villiers and Mandeep added 113 for the third wicket at more than 10 an over to propel Royal Challengers to 180 for 4. On a ground with a highest successful chase of 166 in the IPL, it was too many runs in the pressure of a must-win chase. Royals crumbled without any fight, losing wickets regularly to go down by 71 runs.

On a hard and grassy but also two-paced pitch, Royal Challengers lost Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli to Dhawal Kulkarni by the eighth over before reaching 50. Mandeep and de Villiers took a few deliveries to get their bearings before decisively batting Royals out of the match.

Mandeep started the counter when he pulled and lofted Kulkarni for consecutive boundaries in the tenth over. Still, Royal Challengers were going at run a ball at the halfway mark. They were to take 86 off the last six overs, Royals' death-bowling letting them down again as none of those overs went for less than 11.

No batsman barring Mandeep and de Villiers was able to time the ball consistently on the Pune pitch. Mandeep was strong on the pull and the cut. Gradually, de Villiers found his hitting rhythm too, against left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma in the 15th over, when he slogged two sixes and powered a four to deep extra cover.

James Faulkner went for 42 from four overs to end a disappointing season with an economy-rate of 9.46. Chris Morris had a rare off day too, leaking the same number of runs.

With such a stiff target, Royals needed their top order to come good. It wasn't to be. Shane Watson chased and nicked a wide one from S Aravind in the second over. Sanju Samson's promotion to No. 3 did not work as Harshal Patel bounced him out. With the asking-rate galloping, Steven Smith grew desperate for the big hit and holed out off David Wiese.

Helpless to stop the exit of batsmen at the other end, and struggling to get the measure of the pitch, Ajinkya Rahane departed for 42 off 39 in the 14th over. There was to be no sparkle from Deepak Hooda. There was to be no finishing from Faulkner. There was to be only a heavy defeat.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 12:08 GMT

    for those fans of the Samsons, Hoodas and the Karun Nairs, One season and one match wonders isnt enough.

  • Dummy on May 21, 2015, 10:55 GMT

    The Final will be played between MI and RCB. MI will win the tournament because they have enough good match winners than RCB. If RCB loses thier top order batsman early they can not afford it while if MI lost thier top order batsman they have pollard Rayudu and pandya those are responsible players. MI will win this tournament and Rohit will go one step ahead to get captaincy of Indian team in near future.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 10:52 GMT

    Two more to go. I hope to see RCB lifting the trophy. They deserve it

  • Anver on May 21, 2015, 9:13 GMT

    It was that match winning partnership between ABD & Mandeep made RCB's victory an easy one in the end !!! I'm sure Mandeep's timely knock secured his place for next match against CSK.... I predict a MI vs RCB final @ Eden !!!

  • Dummy on May 21, 2015, 8:12 GMT

    It was Devil(lier)'s day. No one can stop him.If they played like this in the second qualifier, RCB will be the champions 2015. Dhoni is fined for his comments about the umpiring. Who will the punish the umpire for giving a wrong decision? In the commentary itself, they have pointed the decision is unfair. Let the ICC decide the matter.

  • Kashi on May 21, 2015, 6:47 GMT

    Agree with comments about one over from Binny. The way he was bowling he would have got ABD and Mandeep. It was baffling to see him being taken off. Keep in mind the pitch offered swing and Binny can be handful just as he showed in Australia before World Cup -another mystery as to why he was not selected for WC.

  • Himanshu on May 21, 2015, 6:08 GMT

    C'mon guys!! Don't know why all the hullabaloo over giving Binny just one over. Is he really that good a bowler?? That he gave just 1 run was just because the two batsmen were new at the crease and were looking to settle down. He did beat AB's bat a few times but that was because AB looked a bit unsettled early on as the bowl wasn't coming on to the bat on the Pune pitch. But once he got hold of the proceedings, there was no one stopping his runs and the slow medium pace of Binny would have helped the cause further. RR tried their best but were outplayed by a better team and everyone should accept that gracefully. On people posting negative comments about AB, guys please start watching cricket before commenting here.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 5:24 GMT

    Too much of floating isn't good. The strategy may be used to surprize the opponent but using it more often than not and not having fixed roles for most of the 11 players goes against you.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2015, 5:18 GMT

    RR deserves the loss....they will not be in play-offs if not their two matches where wash-offed...Binny bowled one over with one run...why Smith dont given him one more over...Faulkner is continuously proving he is a failure, but he is selected over Southee,which makes their bowling weak...where is Tambe?....RCB done right thing to send Mandeep over Karthik,who taken the pressure from ABD...RCB should try Bisla for Karthik for next match

  • Bhavik on May 21, 2015, 4:48 GMT

    RR letting go if Johan Botha proved to be stupid. They were forced to trust Faulkner. Chris Morris was often worked doubleshift to compensate.

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