Captain Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell struck half-centuries as Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a challenging 171 for 5 against Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match in Jaipur on Sunday.
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. Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra 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.