Rajasthan Royals dished out one of the most inexplicable batting performances of the Indian Premier League as they were dismissed for just 59, suffering a massive 112-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur on Sunday.
Chasing 172 for a win, the Royals suffered a stunning batting collapse to be bundled out in just 10.3 over for the third lowest total in IPL history with only Shimron Hetmyer (35 off 19 balls) and Joe Root (10 off 15 balls) scoring in double-digit figures.
It was RR’s second lowest total as they just about managed to go past their earlier lowest of 58 against the same opponents in 2009 by one run.
RR batters failed to give a fight as they kept on playing shots when the situation demanded to stick for a while on a slow and tricky wicket.
RCB bowlers exploited the lack of application by RR batters and game sense as all of them returned with wickets. Wayne Parnell was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 10 runs from his three overs. Michael Bracewell and Karn Sharma took two wickets each while Mohammed Siraj and Glenn Maxwell got one each.
With the win, RCB jumped to the fifth spot with 12 points from 12 matches to be in contention for a play-off berth while RR moved down to sixth with 12 points from 13 matches.
The Royals lost five wickets for 25 runs in the powerplay with Parnell taking two, including that of Jos Buttler (0) and captain Sanju Samson (4).
But it was Siraj, who had opened the floodgates by getting the wicket of in-form Yashasvi Jaiswal (0). The youngster failed to control his shot and offered a simple catch to Virat Kohli at mid-off in the second ball of the RR run chase.
It was a rare instance as both RR openers got out for ducks as Buttler departed in the next over off a short and wide delivery off Parnell.
Two balls later, Samson was out as he committed for a shot too early and the ball ballooned up high in the air for Anuj Rawat to take a well-judged catch.
Three wickets down for 11 runs after two overs, the Royals survived the next two overs before Devdutt Padikkal, who came in as ‘Impact Player’ in place of Yuzvendra Chahal, was dismissed for four off Bracewell as Royals’ procession to the dressing room continued.
Root’s first IPL outing with the bat also turned out to be a nightmare as he was trapped LBW decision, becoming Parnell’s third victim.
Hetmyer was the only batter who gave a fight and he hit three consecutive sixes off Karn Sharma in the eighth over but finally got dismissed in the 10th over off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell.
Adam Zampa and KM Asif decided not to stretch Royals misery by getting out in the space of three balls in the 11th over in one of the most one-sided matches of the IPL.
Earlier, captain Faf du Plessis and Maxwell struck half-centuries as RCB posted a challenging 171 for 5 after opting to bat.
Du Plessis (55 off 44 balls) and Maxwell (54 off 33 balls) continued their strong form on a slower pitch but the Royals produced a disciplined bowling effort to stop RCB to a competitive total.
Anuj Rawat hit 29 not out off just 11 balls down the order to take the RCB total past the 170 mark as they added 51 runs in the last five overs.
Australian left-arm spinner Adam Zampa (4-0-25-2) and pacer KM Asif (4-0-42-2) were the most successful Royals bowlers while Sandeep Sharma got one wicket.
Kohli punished Sandeep for a boundary in the first over for bowling a short and wide ball, but he and du Plessis could not get too many boundaries after the introduction of spinners.
Zampa was introduced in the second over but was hit for a six by du Plessis in the fourth over. Ashwin and Chahal also did reasonably well as RCB could only score 42 for no loss in the powerplay.
The Royals got their first breakthrough in the form of Kohli (18 off 19 balls) in the seventh over with Asif claiming the prized wicket. The ball ballooned up in the air and Yashasvi Jaiswal took a fine catch.
RCB were unable to step up the gas as they were 78 for 1 at the halfway mark. But by then Maxwell had settled down and he began to impose himself on the RR bowlers.
Maxwell hit two fours off Sandeep in the 13th over and followed it up with a six off Ashwin in the next to push the scoring rate.
Du Plessis then reached his fifth half century of the season by smacking Asif for a six in the 15th over. But the in-form South African batter fell in the same over to become Asif’s second victim of the match.
Jaiswal was again the one who took the catch as du Plessis failed to clear him.
Du Plessis’ dismissal triggered RCB’s batting collapse as Mahipal Lormor (1) and Dinesh Karthik (0) were out two and four balls after the captain’s departure.