20-year old opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal continued to flourish in the Indian Premier League and Virat Kohli left a lean patch behind him handing Royal Challengers Bangalore an easy eight-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Bangalore ripped through Rajasthan top order before restricting them to 154-6. Bangalore lost opener Aaron Finch (eight) early in the game but a solid 99-run partnership between Padikkal and Kohli led them to 158-2 in 19.1 overs.
The story was all about Padikkal and Kohli who have written contrasting script in the current season of the IPL. While Padikkal went on to make his third half century in fourth match, Kohli finally found some touch after the scores of 14, 3 and 1 in the first three matches.
The two batsmen dealt with Rajasthan’s mediocre total sensibly bringing 99 runs in 80 deliveries. Padikkal made a 45-ball 63 with six boundaries and a six. Kohli was unbeaten on 72 off 53 deliveries and hit seven fours and two sixes.
The victory catapulted Bangalore provisionally at the top of the table with six points from four matches.Any of the two teams between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders can topple them from the summit on net run rate after Saturday’s second match.
Kohli was at his aggressive best with his captaincy setting up an attacking field to paralyse Rajasthan top order with the early dismissals of captain Steven Smith (five), Sanju Samson (four) and Josh Buttler (22) with just 31 runs on the board.
Robin Uthappa (17) and Mahipal Lomror added 39 runs before the former was sent back by Yuzvendra Chahal. Lomror added another 35 runs with Riyan Parag (16) and fell three short of a half century. He hit three sixes and a four before Chahal made him his third victim.
Rahul Tewatia (12-ball 24) and Jofra Archer (16) pushed Rajasthan beyond 150-run mark. Chahal continued to impress with 3-24 from four overs but Isuru Udana was smashed for 41 runs despite the Sri Lankan paceman taking two wickets.