Jaipur: Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal produced a brilliant spell of bowling to guide Rajasthan Royals to a comfortable 30-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 encounter at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday.
The 24-year old, who was included for the match in place of pacer Anureet Singh, returned figures of 4/16 as the hosts kept their playoff dreams alive with victory that eliminated the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chasing 165, RCB lost skipper Kohli early as he was castled by spinner K Gowtham in the third over.
However, Parthiv Patel and AB De Villiers were ruthless in the powerplay overs, both scoring freely against the RR bowlers. Patel lifted Jofra Archer for two sixes over third man while De Villiers slammed Ben Laughlin for two boundaries to take RCB to 55/1 after six overs.
The partnership was broken in the eighth over by Shreyas Gopal as he dismissed Patel for 33.
The Karnataka spinner claimed the wicket of Moeen Ali also in the same over to bring RR back into the game.
Two quick wickets opened the floodgates as Gopal dismissed Mandeep Singh in his next over and Colin De Grandhomme was caught at slip off Ish Sodhi in the following over.
AB De Villiers continued to dominate the bowlers and brought up his half century in 31 balls. But wickets continued to tumble at the other hand and he became Shreyas Gopal’s fourth victim as he misread a googly from the leg-spinner to be stumped for 53 in the 13th over. That was the beginning of the end for RCB as Ben Laughlin and Jaydev Unadkat claimed two wickets each to dismiss RCB for 134.
Rahul Tripathi scored an unbeaten 80 off 58 balls to take Rajasthan Royals to 164/5 after they won the toss and opted to bat.
Umesh Yadav was again the pick of the RCB bowlers with three wickets but Tripathi’s brilliant innings was enough to take the hosts to a competitive total.
The decision to open the batting with Jofra Archer backfired for Royals as the all-rounder was dismissed for duck by Yadav.
However, Tripathi stitched together a 99-run partnership with RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane to steady the innings.