Shahbaz, Karthik shine as RCB beat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets
Shahbaz Ahmed of Royal Challengers Bangalore hitting the ball over the boundary during their match against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League at the D Y Patil at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 5, 2022. Saikat Das/IPL

Shahbaz, Karthik shine as RCB beat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets

Mumbai, April 5, 2022

Shahbaz Ahmed hammered 45 off 26 balls and Dinesh Karthik made 44 off 23 in some exciting rearguard action as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets with five balls remaining in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday evening.

Put in to bat first, Rajasthan Royals put up 169 for three in their 20 overs, with opener Jos Buttler batting through the innings for a superb unbeaten 70 off 47 balls, which included six sixes.

In reply, RCB made 173/6 in 19.1 overs, thanks to the brilliant batting by Shahbaz and Karthik.

Batting first, Buttler added 70 for the second wicket with Devdutt Padikkal (37, 29 b, 2x6, 2x4) and later 83 in an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership with Shimon Hetmyer, who made 42 not out off 31 balls with two sixes and four fours.

The other opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (4) and skipper Sanju Samson (8) did not contribute much with the bat today.

At one stage, Rajasthan appeared headed for a below-par total, with their score at 103/3 after 15 overs and 127/3 after 18 overs.

But Buttler and Hetmyer suddenly exploded into action and added 42 runs from the last two overs -- 19 off the first and 23 off the second.

For RCB, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva and David Wiley picked up one wicket apiece.

RCB began the chase at an even pace, with skipper Faf du Plessis (29) and Anuj Rawat (26) adding 55 for the first wicket. But there was a virtual collapse then, with both the openers, Virat Kohli (5) and David Wiley (0) departing in quick succession to see their side reeling at 62/4. Sherfane Rutherford (5) also could not add much to the total and RCB appeared to be in trouble at 87/5.

That brought Shahbaz and Karthik together when RCB still needed 83 off 45 balls.

They steered the side to 154 with a 67-run partnership that saw the required run rate drop to 45 off 30 balls after the 15th over, to 16 off 13 balls when Shahbaz made his exit.

Karthik hit Prasidh Krishna for two fours, through mid-wicketand then over deep backward square leg, as RCB took 12 runs off the 19th over.

With three runs required from the last over, Harshal Patel (9 not out) lifted Jaiswal over deep mid-wicket to seal victory. Karthik was chosen Player of the Match.

Both Rajasthan Royals and RCB now have two wins from their three outings so far.

NNN

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