Royal Challengers Bangalore 180 for 0 (Padikkal 101*, Kohli 72*) beat Rajasthan Royals 177 for 9 (Dube 46, Tewatia 40, Siraj 3-27, Patel 3-47) by 10 wickets
A phenomenal century from Devdutt Padikkal ensured the Royal Challengers Bangalore's fourth successive victory in IPL 2021 as they pulverised the Rajasthan Royals with 10 wickets and 21 balls to spare.
Sanju Samson's team did well to post 177 after he and the rest of his top order came undone against some accurate seam bowling. But it just wasn't enough.
Power outage in the powerplay
The Royals have the worst performing opening partnership in IPL 2021 (ave 14.25). And they came under serious pressure tonight.
Mohammed Siraj clean bowled Jos Buttler, and impressive as that was, his skill and more importantly the experience he has gained travelling with the Indian team, and even being their lead bowler at times, was on better display when he introduced himself to David Miller with a scorching yorker. The batter never saw it coming and, with some help from the DRS, he was walking back lbw.
The Royal Challengers' seamers did well to attack the stumps in the powerplay, keeping their length full, but not drivable because from there, the hints of movement and extra bounce they generated made it severely hard to score runs.
Dube and Tewatia step up
Pushing on from a platform of 32 for 3 in six overs is hard in the best of times. So picture how it must have been for Shivam Dube. He is in the middle of a slump and as much as he has the reputation of a big-hitter, he has never lived up to it in the IPL.
Against his former team, he showed composure and good shot selection, both of which are crucial to revive a failing innings. Take his decision to attack Yuzvendra Chahal in the ninth over. The ball was spinning into his hitting arc, and he knew he could clear Wankhede's boundaries. He has done it so many times in domestic cricket. So, 6, dot, 6.
Dube's 46 off 32 sowed the seeds of resistance and Rahul Tewatia took over from there. His unorthodox strokeplay - scoops over fine leg, lashes over third man - obvious power and sheer determination produced 40 runs in 23 balls and took the Royals to 177 for 9.
RCB roll on and on and on
"It's very exciting for me as a batsman," Kohli said at the prospect of playing in Mumbai. It looks like his opening partner also shared his enthusiasm.
After struggling on the slow, spinning tracks of Chennai, Padikkal produced a joyous display of hitting right through the line of the ball. A cut for four off Chris Morris. A straight drive for six off Mustafizur Rahman. A slog for six off Chetan Sakariya. Each of those shots brought jaws to the floor and the Royals to their knees.
Padikkal reached his fifty off only 27 balls and showed no signs of stopping. Towards the end, he seemed to be playing the game only against himself. "Can I clear this boundary? Oh yeah. Easy. How bout we practice the reverse sweep now? Ooooh, look at that. It's already gone for four". His hundred came in the 17th over, off his 51st delivery, which he drilled through extra cover and roared in primal delight.
Riding in Padikkal's tremendous slipstream, Kohli eased to a fifty of his own and completed 6000 runs in the IPL.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo