A collapse of the top order: Lions bowlers wipe out RCB
Gujarat Lions produced a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 134 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday evening.
This was the third consecutive match in which the big three guns of the RCB batting line-up -- Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers -- proved to be a damp squib.
Pawan Negi was the highest scorer for the hosts with 32 runs off 19 balls which included three boundaries and two sixes.
Kedar Jadhav, who smashed 31 runs off 18 deliveries, was the only other RCB batsman who managed to trouble the Gujarat bowlers.
For Gujarat, Australian pacer Andrew Tye returned figures of 3/12 while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also picked up a couple of wickets.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli was the first to go when he was picked out by Aaron Finch at short fine leg while attempting a big shot off young pacer Basil Thampi.
Tye then took consecutive wickets with the first two balls of the next over to put the visitors in the driver's seat.
He struck a crucial blow with his very first ball of the match when he induced an outside edge off the dangerous Gayle with wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthick doing the honours behind the stumps.
The Australian pacer then produced a similar delivery to remove Travis Head, whose edge travelled to Suresh Raina at first slip. Jadhav and de Villiers then tried to spark an RCB comeback, adding 36 runs between them off 26 balls.
Jadhav kicked off the partnership with three boundaries off Thampi in the sixth over.
But the partnership did not last too long as Jadhav was removed by Jadeja. The batsman had exposed his stumps while attempting a late cut to third man, but he missed as the ball held its line and crashed into the stumps. RCB plunged into further trouble when a mix-up between de Villiers and Mandeep Singh coupled with an excellent piece of fielding by Jadeja saw the South African being run out. Negi then strode to the middle to play a slam-bang knock and produce a 40-run stand with Mandeep.
It was however, not enough to revive the hosts' innings.
By the time Negi hit an Ankit Soni delivery into the hands of Thampi at deep midwicket, the wind had been knocked out of RCB's sails.
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions
RCB: 134 (Pawan Negi 32, Kedar Jadhav 31).
Lions: Andrew Tye (3/12), Ravindra Jadeja (2/28). Agencies