Matches (13)
T20 World Cup (3)
IND v SA [W] (1)
T20 Blast (6)
CE Cup (3)
22nd match (N), Ahmedabad, April 24, 2015, Pepsi Indian Premier League
(16.1/20 ov, T:131) 134/1

RCB won by 9 wickets (with 23 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
73.47 ptsImpact List

Stragglers run into table-toppers

Royal Challengers Bangalore, languishing at the bottom of the table, will run into table-toppers Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on Friday

Match facts

Friday, April 24, 2015
Start time 2000 local (14:30 GMT)

Big picture

Rattled, struggling to find the right balance, and a captain who says he can't say much during the post-match presentation. After a promising start to the season where they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore have gone back to their slow, inconsistent ways, losing three successive games at home. Not even a fifty from Virat Kohli and a fiery spell from a fit-again Mitchell Starc could drag them off the bottom of the table on Wednesday. And now they run into the table-toppers.
Rajasthan Royals' five-match winning streak was broken by Kings XI Punjab in a Super-Over finish, but there is no denying that Royals are one of the more stable teams this season. Three of the top 10 economy rates belong to Royals, Ajinkya Rahane is fast enhancing his T20 credentials with five successive forty-plus scores, including three successive fifties, and the return of Shane Watson has added more firepower to their batting. Deepak Hooda and Steven Smith have pitched in with good contributions, but much of it has been built on a strong platform laid by the top order.
Royal Challengers will bank on Starc to nip out the openers early and Yuzvendra Chahal's stifling spin to tie down the middle order. Chahal can also take the new ball as he showed against Super Kings, dismissing Brendon McCullum cheaply. However, that has not masked the weakness of the attack with the likes of David Wiese and Varun Aaron, who was tipped to lead the bowling early season but later dropped, proving expensive. To compound their woes, Adam Milne has been ruled out of the tournament. With the exception of Nic Maddinson, Royal Challengers have tried out all their overaseas players and even left out Chris Gayle in their previous game, against Chennai Super Kings. They need to quickly identify a settled combination if they are to revive their campaign.

Watch out for...

Dinesh Karthik, the second-most expensive buy in the February auction, has lasted only 41 balls, managing 43 runs in four matches. The onus is on him to step up and bind the middle order before it gets too late.
Deepak Hooda, who spent the entire 2014 season on the bench, has already made a mark this season. He has crunched 116 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 218.86, the highest in the tournament so far (for a minimum of 10 balls faced), and stands second in the list of most sixes, in addition to a decent economy rate of 7.58.

Stats and trivia

  • Four Royal Challengers bowlers have conceded more than 45 runs in an innings as compared to Royals' one
  • Royals have racked up 90-plus opening stands 11 times, more than any other T20 team in the world.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
RCB 100%
100%50%100%RR InningsRCB Innings

Over 17 • RCB 134/1

RCB won by 9 wickets (with 23 balls remaining)
Powered by Smart Stats
AskESPNcricinfo Logo
Instant answers to T20 questions
RCB Innings
<1 / 3>

Pepsi Indian Premier League