Bangalore: There was little royalty on view in the clash between the two Royals - Bangalore and Rajasthan - in Saturday's second low-scorer at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which ended with the hosts winning by seven wickets to move to No. 1 on the IPL leaderboard. Rajasthan were put in to bat and made a mess of their innings, bowled out for 117 in 19.4 overs, and RCB took their time to chase down the two points needed to knock Sunrisers Hyderabad off the top spot.
Following the first match of the day at Eden Gardens, this too was low on value in terms of batting. Rajasthan made a slow start, scoring 14 for 1 off the first four overs and then lost their second opener before the Powerplay. Shane Watson drove Ravi Rampaul in the air to mid-off for 6 in the third over and in the sixth Ajinkya Rahane spooned a simple catch to point off Jaydev Unadkat.
A brief counter-punch followed from Stuart Binny, whose bullishness countered Rahul Dravid's sluggishness. Binny began with a lovely punch off the back foot for four off Unadkat and took an instant liking to Murali Kartik's left-arm spin, crashing a drive past point and then sweeping six over square leg. Vinay Kumar was taken for a whistling four over midwicket first ball on return but bounced out Binny during the same over, with wicketkeeper Arun Karthik taking a brilliant running catch off a big top edge.
Chasing a meager target of 118, Royal Challengers Bangalore took their sweet time to chase down the target that moved them to top of the points table.
Dravid upped his strike-rate with a couple pleasing on-side boundaries but looking to get on with things he lofted Kartik to Rampaul at long-on, at which point the second strategic timeout was taken with Rajasthan 97 for 4 in the 15th over.
The visitors needed to loot runs off the last quarter of their innings but failed to do so. Brad Hodge's mixed tournament continued with another slow innings - 13 off 17 - as he limply steered Vinay to Karthik behind the stumps. James Faulkner swung RP Singh to long-on for 3 and the tail was no match for Vinay and RP kept it full and straight to finish with 3 for 18 and 3 for 14 respectively.
In keeping with the trend of IPL 6, the team left to chase a small total chugged along and then lost wickets in a cluster to ensure the second strategic timeout was utilized. Barring the first and sixth, RCB's openers ensured at least one four came off each of the first seven overs but once the first wicket fell a couple more were inevitably around the corner. Tillakaratne Dilshan rattled boundaries off Sreesanth, Faulkner and Shaun Tait inside the Powerplay which yielded 48 runs, but Watson's first bowling stint of the season produced the breakthrough as Dilshan nicked behind for 25.
In the following over Faulkner bowled Virat Kohli for 1 via an inside edge, and then AB de Villiers was excellently held at mid-off by Ajit Chandila in Watson's second. At this stage RCB needed 54 from 11 overs at 4.90 an over, and Chris Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary used up 53 deliveries to get home. On return to the side, Tiwar scored 25 off 29 while a very subdued Gayle finished on 49 off 44. The moment the scores were leveled, Gayle smacked Siddharth Trivedi for a big straight six.