Home Sports Challengers beat Royals, book IPL semi-final berth

Challengers beat Royals, book IPL semi-final berth


Jaipur : Last year’s finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore sailed into the semi-finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a convincing five-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here Wednesday.

Kevin Pietersen made a breezy 29-ball 62 runs as Royal Challengers, set a target of 131, made 132 for five in 15.4 overs.

With the loss, only a miracle can now help Rajasthan Royals qualify for the last four as they have 12 points from 13 matches and a negative run rate of -0.421.

It was an all-round show by the Royal Challengers as put into field, they first restricted the Rajasthan team to 130 for six in 20 overs. And then the batsmen went on knocking off the runs quickly with Man of the Match Pietersen scoring his second IPL fifty.

Royal Challengers suffered an early blow as veteran Jacques Kallis failed to open his account and departed in the second over after being bowled out by Kamran Khan.

But Pietersen along with young opener Manish Pandey (14) added 36 runs for the second wicket to bring some stability to the innings.

Pietersen and Uthappa (26) added another valuable 60 runs for the third wicket to take Royal Challengers on the threshold of a deserving victory. Pietersen hit 10 fours and two sixes during his flashy innings while Uthappa smashed two fours and a six in his 21-ball stay.

Pietersen, Uthappa and Virat Kohli (14) departed in quick succession as Royal Challengers slumped from 102 for two to 119 for five.

Ross Taylor (10 not out) and Rahul Dravid (5 not out) took Royal Challengers to home safely.

Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Royals failed to recover from a top-order collapse and got just 130 runs on board.

Fast bowler Panjak Singh struck twice as half the side was back in the pavilion for just 58 runs in the 12th over.

Abhishek Raut (32 not out) and Adam Voges (28 not out) came up with some sterling display down the order as Rajasthan managed to cross the 100-run mark. Shane Watson also scored a valuable 22.