Rajasthan maul Bangalore, win by 7 wickets

Pacer Amit Singh and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja’s sensational bowling set the tone as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets for their third straight win in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Chasing a modest 106 runs, the defending champions romped home with five overs to spare after Naman Ojha (52) struck a second successive unbeaten fifty.

Amit and Jadeja shared seven wickets between them to wreck Bangalore after Rajasthan captain Shane Warne invited them to bat.

Amit, who made a sensational IPL debut against Kings XI Punjab with figures of 3/9, improved to a four for 19 today. Jadeja was equally devastating with figures of 3 for 15.

Chasing the target, Rajasthan’s scoring was not as brisk after last-match hero Graeme Smith (20) was dismissed early on but they didn’t have to toil too hard either.

Ojha, who starred with a blazing 68-run knock in the last match against Kings XI Punjab, once again did well for a 38-ball knock that comprised three fours and an equal number of sixes.

Comfortably placed at 62 for two before the strategy break, Yusuf Pathan and Ojha guided the team to victory, sharing a 43-run stand.

Yusuf was sent back by Dillon du Preez with Rajasthan needing just 15 runs for the win and his knock of 22 was studded with two fours.

But Ojha made sure that there were no further hiccups and smashed a six and a four off the last two balls of a Praveen Kumar over to complete the formalities.

Earlier, Bangalore’s top-order let them down badly and half the side was back in the dug-out by the 12th over with just 52 runs on board. The team took more than 19 overs to complete its 100.

Anil Kumble’s men couldn’t have imagined a worst start as opener Wasim Jaffer (8) departed in the third over with the team score reading 10.

Amit made up for a dropped catch in the previous over when he had Jaffer caught at short cover by Lee Carseldine. The next blow for Bangalore came in the fifth over when in-form all-rounder Jacques Kallis (10) top-edged a Munaf Patel ball which Niraj Patel collected at deep backward square.

Rahul Dravid went for a duck while Robin Uthappa (17) too departed without making any substantial contribution as Bangalore stuttered to a paltry 49 for 4 before the strategy break.

Uthappa was Jadeja’s first victim, trapped leg before by the left-armer.

Bangalore’s slump continued for Bangalore after the break as well with wicket-keeper Mark Boucher (6) departing in the 11th over.

Boucher was castled by Jadeja, edging one on to the stumps to leave Bangalore reeling at 52 for five.

Jadeja struck again in the 15th over when Morne Morkel took a sharp catch at the third man to dismiss Virat Kohli (15), who was just beginning to settle.

Roelof van der Merwe contributed 15 runs before being clean bowled by Amit. The pacer than cleaned up the Bangalore tail with ease to complete another spectacular performance.

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