RR lose to RCB by 7 wickets, Ab de Villiers and Morris sparkle

Chris Morris’s four-wicket haul and with AB de Villiers’s 55 not out off 22 balls powered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a thumping seven-wicket win over a off-colour Rajasthan Royals (RR) here on Saturday.

It was Morris’ heroics (4/26) that restricted RR, who had opted to bat, at a competitive 177/6 wickets in 20 overs before RCB skipper Virat Kohli (43), opener Devdutt Padikkal (35) and de Villiers’s magnificent knock sealed their sixth win in nine matches. RCB finished at 179/3 wickets in 19.4 overs.

Chasing the target, Shreyas Gopal (1/32) drew the first blood as he accounted for RCB opener Aaron Finch (14) in the fourth over when the opponents were at 23 runs.

Kohli and Padikkal added 79 runs for the second wicket before Rahul Tewatia got rid of Padikkal in the 13th over.

Kartik Tyagi further jolted RCB as he dismissed Kohli off the first delivery of the 14th over to make their opponents 102/3.

The tumbling of wickets hardly affected de Villiers, who started firing right from the start. The South African superstar shared a match-winning 77-run partnership (39 balls) with Gurkeerat Singh (19 not out) to drive RCB home with two balls to spare.

de Villiers’s knock was laced with six maximums and a boundary.

Earlier, Chris Morris’s four-wicket haul saw RR being restricted to 177 for six wickets in 20 overs even as skipper Steve Smith and Robin Uthappa chipped in with valuable 57 and 41 runs respectively.

Uthappa, who opened the innings as the RR think-tank opted to push regular opener Jos Buttler (24) down to No.5, smashed seven boundaries.

Uthappa along with Ben Stokes (15) provided a flying start to RR as the pair was involved in a 50-run partnership before Morris packed up the England all-rounder in the sixth over.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2/34) struck twice in consecutive deliveries of the eighth over to send back a well-settled Uthappa and Sanju Samson (9) to leave RR reeling at 69/3.

Smith and Buttler then stabilised the RR innings, sharing a 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket, taking their team past the 100-run mark in 12.4 overs.

Moriss finally applied brakes on the developing partnership, sending back Buttler in the 16th over before Smith and Rahul Tewatia (19 not out) added 46 runs off 25 balls to help their side post a respectable total.

Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore: 179/3 wkts in 19.4 overs (AB de Villiers 55 not out, Virat Kohli 43, Rahul Tewatia 1/30) beat Rajasthan Royals177/6 wkts in 20 overs (S Smith 57, R Uthappa 41; Chris Morris 4/26) by 7 wickets

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