Sanju Samson played one of the best innings of his IPL career (92 not out off 45 balls) to help Rajasthan register a comfortable 19-run win against Virat Kohli's Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a mammoth 218 to win, RCB needed their top four batsmen to fire big time but Brendon McCullum (4), Quinton de Kock (26) and AB de Villiers (20) departed without having done the necessary work and that cost the hosts dear. Captain Virat Kohli, who batted at No.3, did well with 57 off 30 balls but RR's target proved too big in the end.
Mandeep Singh (47 not out off 25 balls) and Washington Sundar (35 off 19 balls) could only narrow the margin of RCB's defeat. Legspinner Shreyas Gopal was the most successful RR bowler with figures of 2/22 in his four overs. This was RR's second successive win having beaten Delhi in the previous game, while RCB tasted their second defeat in three matches.
Earlier in the day, after being put into bat by RCB, Rajasthan started strongly all thanks to skipper Ajinkya Rahane who looked in his element from the word go.
His 36 off 20 balls helped RR race to 49/0 in 5.3 overs. However against the run of play, he succumbed to England fast bowler Chris Woakes. The other opener, D'Arcy Short also departed shortly after for 11 to put the visitors in a little spot of bother.
Dark clouds over the Rajasthan innings were blown over by the partnership between Samson and Ben Stokes. Both added a quick 49 to set the stage for RR's assault in the last five overs. Samson came to the fore in those overs as RR scored a whopping 88 runs off the last 30 balls of their innings.
RCB's main bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Woakes, returned figures of 0/59 and 2/47 and that showed how brutal Samson was towards them. Samson hit 10 sixes and two fours during the course of his innings. Jos Buttler (23 off 14 balls) and Rahul Tripathi (14* off 5 balls) also played nice little cameos to further RR's cause.
Samson was rightly chosen Man of the Match was his brilliant effort with the bat.