RCB extend winning streak to keep playoffs hopes alive

An exceptional bowling effort in the afterglow of the batting exploits of middle-order dynamos Will Jacks and Rajat Patidar gave Royal Challengers Bangalore their fifth win on the bounce, and kept them alive in the race to the IPL 2024 playoffs. RCB wobbled a wee bit after blazing away in the first half of the innings, but their total of 187/9 proved more than enough due to Delhi Capitals’ early collapse. This result pushed RCB up to the fifth spot, on the basis of NRR.

Virat Kohli was having a gala of a time in the middle before some friendly West Delhi banter with Ishant Sharma ended with the veteran pacer nicking him off in the fourth over. Mukesh Kumar had sent down a spectacular six balls earlier, giving away just two singles and getting Faf du Plessis slicing an ambitious heave down to third man. Rajat Patidar then came out firing on all cylinders, getting 22 off the 11 PowerPlay deliveries he faced. Tickets ought to sell like hot cakes to see batting of such panache-laden authority, and if you’re a football fan head over to Livefootballtickets instead.

Jacks and Patidar kept their feet firmly on the accelerator even as the field spread out. They began by tonking a six each off Kuldeep Yadav in his first over. Patidar went after DC’s stand-in captain Axar Patel too as both batters rode their luck through the middle overs. Cameron Green and Mahipal Lomror did smash three sixes in a 22-run over from Kuldeep but RCB lost steam towards the end to stutter to an underwhelming finish.

Axar had no choice but to throw his bat around and hope for the best after DC were reduced to a shambolic 30/4. He did that to good effect before top-edging one off Yash Dayal in the 16th over as Faf du Plessis tidied up at backward point. That effectively brought down the curtains on DC. Kuldeep Yadav dragged the hopeless chase till the final over before Dayal completed the win with his third wicket of the game.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bengaluru 187/9 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 52, Will Jacks 41, Cameron Green 32*; Rasikh Salam 2-23) beat Delhi Capitals in 20 overs (Axar Patel 57; Yash Dayal 3-20, Lockie Ferguson 2-23) by 47 runs

Six days later on May 18, RCB host Chennai Super Kings in what could be a virtual quarterfinal if all other results go their way. DC head home for their last game of the campaign – against Lucknow Super Giants – on May 14.

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