x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Indian Premier League: Gayle spoils Dravid's homecoming at Bangalore as Rajasthan Royals lose

A sedate 49 by the opener and good bowling performance ensure a clinical win.

File picture of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Gayle, who played a sedate knock by his standards after a few early wickets around him. Manjunath Kiran / AFP
File picture of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Gayle, who played a sedate knock by his standards after a few early wickets around him. Manjunath Kiran / AFP

Toss Bangalore, chose to field
Rajasthan Dravid 35; Binny 33; Singh 3-13, Vinay kumar 3-18
Bangalore Gayle 29 n.o, Tiwari 25 n.o, Dilshan 25; Watson 2-11
Man of the match R Vinay Kumar (Bangalore)

There was modest individual success but no happy homecoming for Rahul Dravid on what was an eminently forgettable night.

The M Chinnaswamy Stadium rose as one to welcome one of Bangalore's favourite sons last night, threatening to bring the roof down with the kind of reception Dravid had not received at the venue when playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Karnataka or even India.

He responded in style, threatening to make a fist of it alongside Stuart Binny before the wheels came off when Dravid was caught trying to clear long-on off the bowling of Murali Kartik.

Handily placed for a final push at 97 for three midway through the 15th over, Rajasthan Royals collapsed in sensational fashion as they lost their last seven wickets for just 20 runs to be bowled out for 117.

It was Rajasthan's lowest total of this year's IPL and the first time they had failed to bat out 20 overs. It was a far from adequate total as Bangalore cruised home by seven wickets after racing to 123 for three. Bangalore's fifth win in as many games catapulted them to the top of the standings.

Tillkaratne Dilshan provided the early thrust alongside Chris Gayle. The pair put on 53 in only 40 deliveries when Shane Watson, bowling for the first time in the competition, struck with his fourth delivery, having Dilshan caught behind.

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers came and went but with Gayle around, Bangalore were never under any serious threat. Saurabh Tiwary and Gayle added 59 for the fourth wicket to see the team home.

The night had begun with Watson whipping the first ball from Ravi Pampaul to the long-leg fence after Kohli stuck Rajasthan in, but apart from the Dravid-Binny association Rajasthan were comprehensively outclassed.

Binny strode out to join Dravid after Watson had been smartly taken by Kartik at mid off, and Ajinkya Rahane fell prey to a good slower delivery from Jaydev Unadkat. He began with a fluent punch on the up off Unadkat, then continued to bat with refreshing freedom as he hit the ball long and hard. Dravid, measured by comparison, was happy to play second fiddle during a stand of 40 off just 27 deliveries, ended by R Vinay Kumar.

Dravid carried on, whipping and pulling Kartik for boundaries but Kartik had the last laugh, eliciting a lofted drive that snuggled nicely into long-on's hands.

Vinay finished with three for 18 to wrest the Purple Cap back.

 

R Kaushik is deputy editor at Wisden India.

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