The Royal Challengers Bangalore picked up an easy-as-they-come victory over the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2015, and it was thanks to not Chis Gayle, or Virat Kohli or even AB De Villiers, but rather their much-maligned bowlers, albeit led by the peerless Mitchell Starc.
Kohli won the toss and asked RR to bat first, and it was a train-wreck of an innings for the home side, as they finished on a measly 130/9 in 20 overs. That target was never going to trouble RCB, and trouble them it did not, as Kohli and De Villiers, with a little help from Gayle, ran down the runs with ridiculous ease in 16.1 overs.
The moment Ajinkya Rahane, who has been near unstoppable in IPL 2015, and Shane Watson fell in under an over, just before the end of the Powerplay, it was a batting nightmare for the Rajasthan Royals as one important batsman after another tumbled.
Even Steven Smith, who you would have expected to just calm things down and make a potential collapse look like a lazy Sunday morning, fell to the pressure, with every single RCB bowler – yes, Starc was the superstar with figures of 4-0-22-3 -- making full use of the RR batsmen's propensity to throw their wickets away.
"We just didn't assess the conditions well enough today," said Rajasthan Royals captain Watson, and that pretty much summed up their innings – going for a 200, when a 150 might have done the trick on a slowish wicket.
Kohli and Gayle walked out knowing full well the match was in their bag if they ensured they would not play as many daft strokes as the RR batsmen, and despite a couple of scares in Chris Morris' first over, the superstar duo gave RCB a brisk-enough start.
Gayle eventually fell to Watson in the fifth over, mistiming a pull shot completely and looping a catch to wicketkeeper Sanju Samson, but the result was never in doubt.
De Villiers was finally sent in at No.3, a position he should be playing at all the time – what is the point of sending the best batsman in the world in the 14th over with 15 runs an over needed anyway -- and the South African eased to the easiest of 47 not outs (34b, 6x4), with Kohli looking as good as he has done all IPL with his own unbeaten 62 (46b, 1x4, 3x6).