By BV Swagath
Royal Challengers Bangalore finally tasted success in an away match this season after beating Pune Warriors by 17 runs at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. The match was already secured by RCB after they had piled up a huge total of 187 but a heroic knock from Robin Uthappa almost spoilt their party. RCB have now picked up their 7th win in 11 matches. Pune on the other hand are at the bottom with 9 defeats in 11 matches.
Batting first, RCB tried out a new opening combination in Chris Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary. Gayle was dismissed for a run-a-ball 21 by part-time off spinner T Suman in the 7th over. Tiwary made best use of his promotion by compiling a fifty, scoring 52 from 45 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes. RCB were off to a modest start in the first half but got an explosive finish thanks to the cameos from AB de Villiers and Moises Henriques.
AB de Villiers smashed 50* from 23 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes while Henriques chipped in with 27* from 13 balls. Pune were in early trouble in their run chase at 46 for 2 in 7 overs. Yuvraj Singh started to show some form before he got out for 16 which contained a couple of sixes. Robin Uthappa finally got some support from Angelo Mathews and the pair took 20 off a Muralitharan over to bring the Warriors back in the contest.
Mathews eventually fell in the 17th over caught by a diving Gayle at point off a lousy full toss from Vinay Kumar. The former Pune Warriors Captain scored 32 from 19 balls with 3 sixes while leaving the park at 144 for 5. RCB could confirm their victory only in the 18th over when the well set Robin Uthappa was caught off a leading edge to a Murali Kartik delivery. Uthappa by then had played a sizzling knock of 75 from 45 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes. The homeside finished with a total of 170 for 9.
Toss and Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore have won the toss and elected to bat first against hosts Pune Warriors at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune. Angelo Mathews is back in the Pune XI but the captaincy remains with Aaron Finch who declares that he has taken over as the full-time captain throughout the tournament.
Pune Warriors: Robin Uthappa (WK), Aaron Finch (C), Tirumalsetti Suman, Yuvraj Singh, Steven Smith, Angelo Mathews, Abhishek Nayar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ajantha Mendis
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Moises Henriques, Saurabh Tiwary, Arun Karthik (WK), Murali Kartik, Vinay Kumar, RP Singh, Muttiah Muralitharan