PUNE, India (CMC):
Shimron Hetmyer had little impact, but Rajasthan Royals marched to their third win on the trot, and sixth of the season, with a convincing 29-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League yesterday.
The West Indies left-hander scored only three, but Riyan Parag’s unbeaten 56 off 31 balls fired Royals up to 144 for eight off their 20 overs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
In reply, RCB stumbled to 115 all out with three balls left in the innings, fast bowler Kuldeep Sen (4-20) and off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (3-17) destroying the innings, as the last seven wickets tumbled for 57 runs.
With the win, Royals overtook Gujarat Titans at the top of the standings, courtesy of a superior net run rate; both teams are perched on 12 points.
RCB lie fifth but just two points off the top.
Sent in, Royals were struggling on 33 for three in the fifth over before being hauled out of trouble, first by captain Sanju Samson (27) and then by Parag.
Samson clobbered three sixes in a 21-ball cameo as he posted 35 for the fourth wicket with Daryl Mitchell (16), before Parag struck three fours and four sixes in a 31-run, fifth- wicket stand with Mitchell.
Hetmyer was part of a slide which saw four wickets go down for 22 runs, the strokemaker miscuing a slog-sweep at leg-spinner Hasaranga de Silva (2-23), and it was left to Parag to carve out precious runs at the end.
In reply, Virat Kohli’s poor form continued with 10, the Indian batting star perishing in the second over, and his demise set the tone for the run chase.
His opening partner, captain Faf du Plessis, was the only batsman to pass 20, with 23 of 21 deliveries, as RCB’s batting suffered a crippling meltdown.