Young pacer Kuldeep Sen (4/20) and senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3/17) took seven wickets between themselves as Rajasthan Royals successfully defended 144 to defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 29 runs at the MCA Stadium here on Tuesday.
After Riyan Parag's unbeaten 56 took Rajasthan to a score from which their bowlers could make a match out of, the bowling attack led by Sen and Ashwin did exactly that to skittle out Bangalore for 115 all out in 19.3 overs. The victory also means that Rajasthan are the new table-toppers in the points tally, replacing Gujarat Titans.
For Bangalore, their batting never came to the fore. The top order couldn't do much and the middle order never looked like pulling off the chase. The pursuit of 145 began on a scratchy note as Virat Kohli could have gone out thrice in the opening over against Trent Boult.
But he survived to strike back-to-back fours — a flick through square leg followed by a thick edge going past the keeper. Kohli's luck ended at nine when he pulled a little early against a short ball from Prasidh Krishna and a thin edge lobbed to point.
Faf du Plessis got going with boundaries off Krishna, Boult and lofted well against Ashwin for a magnificent six. But Sen had other ideas, removing Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell in the seventh over to bring Rajasthan back in the match. While du Plessis slashed to a jumping cover, Maxwell drove away from the body and nicked to slip for a golden duck.
Bangalore's troubles increased when Ravichandran Ashwin uprooted Rajat Patidar's off-stump for grabbing his 150th IPL wicket and followed it up with Suyash Prabhudessai holing out to long-on in his next over. Things went from bad to worse for Bangalore as Dinesh Karthik was run-out in a big mix-up. Yuzvendra Chahal fumbled while picking up the throw at the non-striker's end. With Karthik showing little urgency to come back quickly, Chahal managed to grab the ball and broke the bails.
Ashwin came back to pick his third wicket of the night as Shahbaz Ahmed's slog was grabbed by a diving Parag at long-on. Wanindu Hasaranga struck some fours but was bounced out in a comfortable caught and bowled dismissal by Sen. Krishna and Sen took the remaining two wickets respectively to give Rajasthan their sixth win of the tournament.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 144/8 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 56 not out, Sanju Samson 27; Josh Hazlewood 2/19, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 115 all out in 19.3 overs (Faf du Plessis 23, Wanindu Hasaranga 18; Kuldeep Sen 4/20, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/17) by 29 runs