Royal Challengers Bengaluru beat Gujarat Titans to stay alive in IPL

BENGALURU, India (AP) — Royal Challengers Bengaluru kept alive their slim playoff hopes in the Indian Premier League with a four-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans in a low-scoring thriller on Saturday.

Bengaluru pacers came to the party as Gujarat was put into bat and bowled out for 147 runs in 19.3 overs.

Bengaluru skipper Faf du Plessis then led the way with 64 off 23 balls, as the hosts finished with 152-6 in only 13.4 overs. Virat Kohli scored 42 runs in 27 balls and shared an opening partnership of 92 with du Plessis in 5.5 overs.

Bengaluru moved off the bottom of the table with its fourth win in 11 games, and is now seventh with eight points ahead of Punjab Kings on net run-rate. It is mathematically still in contention to advance.

Gujarat lost its third consecutive game and dropped to ninth in the 10-team table. It also has eight points and potentially can still make the playoffs.

Bengaluru chose to bowl on a lively pitch. It provided early dividends as Gujarat’s batting came apart early on.

Openers Wriddhiman Saha (1) and Shubman Gill (2) fell cheaply — Mohammed Siraj dismissed both in successive overs.

Cameron Green then got rid of in-form Sai Sudharsan (6) as Gujarat was down to 19-3 in 5.3 overs.

Shahrukh Khan scored 37 off 24 balls, and put on 61 off 37 with David Miller (30) for the fourth wicket to rescue the innings.

They were both dismissed within seven deliveries leaving the work undone as Gujarat reached 87-5.

Rahul Tewatia then guided the lower order with 35 off 21 balls, but the Titans finished with an under-par score.

Siraj took 2-29 in four overs, while fellow pacers Yash Dayal and Vijaykumar Vyashak took a brace each as well.

Chasing only 148, Bengaluru got off to a fiery start. Du Plessis was in the mood as he smashed 10 fours and three sixes, reaching 50 off only 18 balls.

Kohli hit a rapid 42. His strike rate has been questioned this season, but he had no issues on this day – smacking four sixes and scoring at 155.56.

Du Plessis fell against the run of play, and the chaos began for Bengaluru. While Kohli stayed at one end, wickets kept falling at the other.

Bengaluru went from 92-0 to 117-6 in the space of 29 balls, losing big-name batters. Will Jacks, who scored a century in the previous game against Gujarat, fell for one.

Impact player Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell and Green all departed without touching double digits. Ireland pacer Josh Little dismissed all three, along with du Plessis, to finish with 4-45 in four overs.

The worrying point for Bengaluru came when Kohli too was out caught in the 11th over, almost leaving Bengaluru stranded.

Dinesh Karthik (21 not out) and Swapnil Singh (15 not out) steadied the innings as the Royal Challengers registered a third consecutive win to keep alive its slender hopes.


AP cricket: