RCB bowlers restrict Royals to 177/9 on flat deck

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Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) Rahul Tewatia's impressive death overs hitting ensured a fighting 177 for 9 for Rajasthan Royals after yet another familiar top order no-show against Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL match on Thursday.

On a good batting surface, Royals managed a total which may be 25 runs short but credit for the decent score goes to a counter-attacking effort from all-rounder Shivam Dube (46 off 32 balls) which stemmed the rot and big-hits from Tewatia (40 off 23 balls) that helped them get past 175-run mark.

Dube smashed two sixes and five fours and with Riyan Parag (25 off 15 balls) giving him good support, added 66 runs for the fifth wicket off only 6.2 overs to give his team's toal some semblance of respectability.

While the giant all-rounder was comfortable playing at 'home', using the pace of deliveries, the profligate top-order of Royals once again flattered to deceive along with their skipper Sanju Samson, who has been 'consistently inconsistent'.

It took Dube's impressive effort to lend some muscle to the Royals' rickety-looking scorecard.

For RCB, Mohammed Siraj's (3/27 in 4 overs) off-cutter first-up cleaned Jos Buttler (8) and Manan Vohra (7) , with another atrocious shot selection off Kyle Jamieson (1/28 in 4 overs), might have ensured a lengthy spell for himself in the dug-out.

Siraj then unleashed a perfect toe-crusher for David Miller (0) as skipper Virat Kohli made a perfect call for DRS.

Samson (21 off 18 balls), maintained his near decade-long IPL tradition of fizzling out after one or two good knocks as a six off Washington Sundar was followed by an indiscreet chip shot at mid-wicket.

Dube hardly used his feet as the two sixes in one over from Yuzvendra Chahal (0/18 in 2 overs) over long-on forced Kohli to take his leg-spinner out of attack. In case of fast bowlers, he used the ramp shot when anything short was bowled on off-stump channel.

The shot that stood out was played by Parag, a whip to the mid-wicket boundary off Harshal Patel (3/47) before getting out in the same over.

Kane Richardson (1/29 in 3 overs) then denied Dube on what would have been a good half-century as Tewatia upped the ante in the final overs along with Chris Morris. PTI KHS KHS SSC SSC