Jaipur - AB de Villiers produced another gem of a half-century for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but it was in vain as they lost by 30 runs to the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL match in Jaipur on Saturday.
The result keeps alive the Royals' hopes of reaching the playoffs while the men from Bangalore must reflect on yet another underwhelming tournament in which their individual stars have sparkled but team results have, for the most part, been dire.
The home side reached a modest 164/5, but it proved far too much for the visitors for De Villiers made 53 from 35 balls with seven fours and Parthiv Patel 33 from 21 balls. But a wretched collapse from 75/1 to 134 all out was instigated by leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal who posted figures of 4-0-16-4.
Both batsmen were stumped by South African gloveman Heinrich Klaasen who took the place of Jos Butler after the Englishman was recalled to prepare for his country’s imminent Test series against Pakistan.
Umesh Yadav had earlier led one of the best bowling and fielding performances of the tournament by the Royal Challengers as they made the Royals work for every run on a slow Jaipur pitch.
The total would have been even less challenging had Klaasen not produced a typically belligerent 32 from 21 deliveries with three fours and a six in the closing overs. Krishnappa Gowtham also added some last-minute gloss to the total with a brace of sixes in the final over from Tim Southee which cost 15 runs.
The innings was held together, however, by opener Rahul Tripathi who batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on 80 from 58 balls (5x4, 3x6).
Captain Ajinkya Rahane contributed a pedestrian 33 from 31 balls before swinging across a straight one from Yadav who was excellent in posting figures of 4-1-25-3.