Royal Challengers Bangalore faltered yet again on home ground. Losing to Rising Pune Supergiants by 27 runs, it was Bangalore’s second straight loss at home and the team is languishing at the bottom of the table. It was a much needed victory for the visiting side Pune, who had lost their last three matches.
After losing the toss, Pune first came into bat and set a target of 162, not a huge target in any way, but RCB never got going as Pune put an impressive bowling performance that ended Bangalore’s run at 139/4. Bangalore skipper Virat Kholi and AB de Villiers could not stay long enough at the pitch to produce a substantial knock. Virat Kholi scored 28 off 19 balls. De Villiers, who was not in his fluent form got stumped on 29 by Imran Tahir. After becoming more desperate to score runs RCB batsmen succumbed one after the other, while trying to hit big shots.
Earlier in the match, RPS openers Rahane and Rahul Tripathi gave a solid foundation to build upon, with a 68-run opening partnership. In the eighth over spinner Samuel Badree got RCB its first breakthrough, who took out Rahane. In the next over Pawan Negi got rid of Tripathi. Former Pune skipper MS Dhoni and current skipper Steven Smith had a good start, but were largely kept quite by the slow bowlers. Shane Watson castled MS Dhoni before Smith suffered the same fate that triggered a collapse. The visitors lost five wickets in the space of nine balls towards as the innings fizzed out. It was some big hitting by Manoj Tiwary, which help Pune reach a competitive 161/8 which proved enough in the end.