Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
While RR have opened their account, RCB continue to be winless (BCCI Photos)

Rajasthan Royals thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore in Jaipur on Tuesday night to register their first win of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). However, for Bangalore it was their fourth straight defeat as their wretched start to the season continues. (READ: Buttler, Gopal get Royals up and running)

Here are the major talking points from the match 14 of IPL

Gopal flummoxes Kohli and De Villiers

For the first time this year, RCB managed to see off the Powerplay overs without losing a wicket as their openers added 48/0. Captain Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel got the starts and all they need to do was build on it. Kohli had scored run-a-ball 23 and Patel was on 22 off 13. Then RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane introduced Shreyas Gopal into the attack. In a matter of eight deliveries, the legspinner had sent both Kohli and AB de Villiers back to the RCB dug-out, putting breaks to what was a promising start. He slipped in a wrong’un and Kohli misread that with the ball sneaking through the bat-pad gap to crash on the off stump.

In his second over, he bowled another wrong’un as de Villiers got a leading edge to hand an easy return catch. And in his third successive over, he extended the misery of Shimron Hetmyer as he induced an outside edge and the wicketkeeper did the rest. His spell read 3-1-8-3. Rahane brought him back again for the 15th over and he kept RCB to four singles in it.

Parthiv the fulcrum of RCB

With Gopal having fun at one end, Parthiv Patel took it upon himself to keep RCB ticking. In the first four overs, he had faced just four deliveries with Kohli hogging most of the strike. His turned it around in Jofra Archer’s first and innings fifth over, spanking him for three fours that took him to 19 off 9. Varun Aaron was greeted similarly, belted for two fours. With the spinners tying down RCB as they slipped from 48/0 to 73/3, Parthiv kept a cool head to prevent a full-blown collapse. He wasn’t averse to playing the big shots when opportunity was there – Ben Stokes dropped one short and a top-edge sailed over deep backward square leg boundary. He then dropped the next wide and outside off that was cut away to third man for a four. He reached his first fifty of the season and was out after hitting 67 with nine fours and a six.

Butterfinger Bangalore

You cannot drop four catches and expect to defend 158 in a T20 match. RCB are finding ways to lose and on Tuesday night at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, it was their fielders who did that job thoroughly. The first such chance arrived in the second over of the chase itself with Kohli at first slip handing his counterpart Rahane a life after grassing an edge off Navdeep Saini. Rahane had scored just one then to which he added 21 more with the help of four fours. The next two lives were reserved for Steven Smith – at sweeper cover, Umesh Yadav dropped him off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 16th over before Pawan Negi dived at mid-wicket but failed to complete a tough chance in the 19th over. The fourth catch was dropped in the penultimate over when top-edged Mohammed Siraj but Moeen Ali slipped at deep midwicket.

Buttler sets the tempo

Jos Buttler has become one of the most consistent performers of IPL since his promotion as an opener in RR setup. That he can score freely is just the icing on the cake. He has done so across formats. While the chase of 159 wasn’t demanding, the manner in which RCB innings slowed down was a reminder how difficult it could get unless someone builds the momentum. For RCB, the man was Parthiv. For RR, was Buttler who struck five fours in the first fours overs to get things going. RR made 55/0 in the Powerplay. He reached with second fifty of the season with a four off Moeen and followed it up with a six over deep midwicket. Before falling to Chahal, he had struck eight fours and a six for his 59 that set the base for the upcoming batsmen.