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Patidar fifty guides RCB to 187 for 9 against DC

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Bengaluru, May 12 (PTI) Royal Challengers Bengaluru could not exploit Rajat Patidar's blazing fifty to the optimum, settling for a tad underwhelming 187 for nine against Delhi Capitals in their Indian Premier League match here on Sunday.

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Patidar (52, 32b, 3x4, 3x6) and Will Jacks (41, 29b, 3x4, 2x6) added 88 runs off 53 balls during a breezy third-wicket stand as RCB overcame the early dismissals of skipper Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli to have a strong middle passage.

Du Plessis’ slice off pacer Mukesh Kumar was gobbled up by Jack Fraser-McGurk near third man.

Kohli gave signals of another T20 masterclass while creaming 27 off 13 balls, including two sixes off Ishant Sharma and one off Khaleel Ahmed (2/31).

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But a waft outside the off-stump with little foot movement resulted in a simple catch to stumper Abhishek Porel as Ishant indulged in a rather amusing block-Kohli celebration.

RCB, however, found Patidar in full flow once again. His first scoring shot was a magnificent cover driven four off Mukesh and he never let that early momentum fade.

The elegance soon gave away for brute force as Patidar brought forth his six-hitting abilities, hitting Axar Patel, stand-in skipper of Delhi Capitals in the absence of suspended Rishabh Pant, for two sixes and sending Kuldeep Yadav over long-on for a maximum.

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The Capitals fielders too helped Patidar copiously. Shai Hope dropped the right-hander on 42 off Kuldeep and five runs later Axar grassed him off pacer Rasikh Salam.

At the other end, Jacks, who was given a reprieve on 19 by Axar off Kuldeep, displayed his untrammelled power and the left-arm wrist spinner was at the receiving end, watching the ball sailing over long-on twice.

Just as the alliance was blossoming into something more substantial, DC managed to latch on to a catch.

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Axar atoned for his previous failures as he made a fine tumbling catch off Salam to terminate the stay of Patidar.

Jacks soon followed his partner as a weak slap off Kuldeep ended in the hands of Axar at the edge of the ring.

As it often happens, dismissals of two set batters affected the run-scoring rate of RCB from 137 for four in 14.4 overs. The DC bowlers too regained a semblance of their control in this phase.

Cameron Green (32 not out), who slammed Kuldeep for two successive sixes, and Mahipal Lomror (13, 8b) made 37 off 18 balls for the fifth wicket but RCB could not gain the desired thrust in the death overs, where Khaleel and Rasikh (2/23) were excellent with their lines.

The final five overs produced just 49 runs, and that might prove crucial in deciding the final outcome. PTI UNG AT AT

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