At 41, Pravin Tambe made his IPL debut last year. In his second year of the league at 42 he has come of age. On Saturday, he delivered a strong performance – a four for 20 – to help Rajasthan Royals post a convincing six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
It was a low scoring game as Royals bowled out RCB for a paltry 70, the third lowest total in the tournnament's history after skipper Shane Watson chose to bowl first. Only three Bangalore batsmen could touch a double-digit mark that included Virat Kohli's 21.
Ironically in 2009, Rajasthan were at the receiving end of Bangalore's hostility when they were bundled out for 58 – the lowest IPL score by any team till now.
Chasing 71, Rajasthan cantered to their target in 13 overs with skipper Shane Watson top-scoring with 24 runs.
The Rajasthan side though hit a few roadblocks when Ajinkya Rahane was caught behind off Mitchell Starc for 23, Sanju Samson was run out for 2 and Mitchell Starc struck his second blow to send Karun Nair back for 8.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also picked up a consolation wicket when Watson was caught at cover while trying to finish the game.
It was finally left-hander Abhishek Nayar who hit the winning runs to give Rajasthan their second win in the tournament after four games.
Earlier a star-studded Bangalore batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards as they were shot out for their lowest total in the Twenty20 league. The RCB innings was off to a disastrous start after their openers returned to the dug out in the very first over and the agony ended for them in the 15th over. Medium-pacer Stuart Binny got Yogesh Takawale caught behind for nought and the in-form Parthiv Patel followed him soon after being run out for 1.
Australian pacer Kane Richardson then replaced Binny in the third over to choke the RCB top-order after picking up the prized wickets of Yuvraj Singh (3) and AB de Villiers (0) on consecutive deliveries. The hat-trick ball was foiled by Sachin Rana. Rana, who plays for Haryana in Ranji trophy, though couldn't last long after he was cleaned up by Watson for 3.
The rot continued after leg-spinner Tambe got Albie Morkel for 7. Albie, who had been patient till now, went after a flighted delivery to lob a simple catch to Steven Smith at mid-off.
Skipper Virat Kohli (21) tried his best to resist the fall but the attacking batsman gave away a sitter to Tim Southee at mid-off off Tambe.
On any other day it would have been four but Kohli seemed to have been bitten by the same bug that hit the rest of his mates. The procession continued as Starc was caught by Binny off Rajat Bhatia after a fighting 18. Tambe then completed the formalities to wipe off the tail.
—With agency inputs