Excellent 10

Mumbai, April 22

Devdutt Padikkal, who not long ago was suffering from Covid-19, struck a stunning 101 not out off 52 balls, in the process eclipsing India captain Virat Kohli, to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the 16th match of IPL-14. Set 178 to win, RCB completed the job in only 16.3 overs, without losing a wicket, to make it four wins out of four matches played. They are firmly on top of the points table with eight points.

Padikkal’s 101, the 14th hundred by an RCB player in the IPL — the most for any franchise — came off only 52 balls and included 11 fours and 6 sixers. It put into shade Kohli’s 72 off 47 balls, six of which were hit for fours and three for sixers.

None of the RR bowlers could make an impact today, with the most economical of them — Chetan Sakariya — going for 8.75 runs an over.

RCB’s Glenn Maxwell had praise for Padikkal for his knock: “I’ve not done any

work with him (Padikkal). He’s got a beautiful flow of the bat. Obviously he had Covid at the start of the year, felt a bit flat, but he cashed in.”

Tewatia’s fightback

Earlier, Rahul Tewatia’s impressive death overs hitting ensured a fighting 177/9 for RR after yet another familiar top-order no-show.

On a good batting surface, RR managed a total which was 25 runs short of par, but credit for the decent score goes to a counter-attacking effort from all-rounder Shivam Dube (46 off 32 balls) which stemmed the rot, and big hits from Tewatia (40 off 23 balls).

Dube smashed two sixes and five fours and with Riyan Parag (25 off 15 balls) giving him good support, added 66 runs for the fifth wicket off only 6.2 overs to give the total a semblance of respectability.

The profligate top-order of RR once again flattered to deceive along with their skipper Sanju Samson, who has been quite inconsistent.

For RCB, Mohammed Siraj’s (3/27 in 4 overs) off-cutter first-up cleaned up Jos Buttler (8), and Manan Vohra (7), with another atrocious shot selection off Kyle Jamieson (1/28 in 4 overs), might have ensured a lengthy spell for himself in the dug-out.

Siraj then unleashed a perfect toe-crusher for David Miller (0) as Kohli made a perfect call for DRS. Samson (21 off 18 balls) maintained his near decade-long IPL tradition of fizzling out after one or two good knocks as a six off Washington Sundar was followed by an indiscreet chip at mid-wicket. — TNS, agencies

Brief Scores

Rajasthan Royals: 177/9 (Dube 46, Tewatia 40; Siraj 3/27, Harshal 3/47); Royal Challengers Bangalore: 181/0 in 16.3 overs (Padikkal 101*, Kohli 72*)

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