Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second match in a row and it was two wins on the trot for them as the hosts edged out table-toppers Rajasthan Royals in a close clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Chasing 190 for a win, Sanju Samson and Co managed 182/6 as RCB won by 7 runs to join a cluster of teams on 8 points.

Wearing their annual one-off green kit, RCB were not off to the best of starts as stand-in skipper Kohli was out first ball to Trent Boult. But Faf du Plessis, once again playing just as a batter under the Impact Player rule, along with Glenn Maxwell put together a century stand. There was a late collapse again after set batters departed but RCB managed to post 189/9 in the 20 overs.

Mohammed Siraj once again struck early for RCB as Jos Buttler was bowled for a duck in the first over. Devdutt Padikkal and Yashasvi Jaiswal rebuilt for RCB but with the scoring pressure mounting, the hosts managed to hold off Royals in the back-end. Siraj went for runs in the death overs but Harshal Patel finished things off for his side, with impressive figures of 3/32, with Dhruv Jurel’s cameo not being for Royals.

Maxwell was the player of the match for his 77 off 44 balls.

Trent Boult trapped Kohli leg-before first ball for his 100th wicket and the Kiwi quick had Bangalore reeling on 12-2 with the scalp of Shahbaz Ahmed inside an electric M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

But du Plessis – the top-scorer of the current Indian Premier League edition – and Maxwell soon got Bangalore out of trouble and ended up hammering 127 runs off only 66 balls.

Maxwell led the way with 77 off 44 while du Plessis hit 62 off 39 balls before being run out for 62. Maxwell switch-hit Ravichandran Ashwin straight to Jason Holder at backward point for 77.

Dinesh Karthik again failed to impress at the death, making just 16 off 13 and Bangalore ended with a total of 189-9 that gave table-topping Rajasthan more than a glimmer of hope of victory.

But the pink brigade’s Buttler became the second star batter to depart for a duck, cleaned up by a jubilant Siraj on the England captain’s second ball.

Jaiswal and Padikkal then added 98 runs for the second wicket but they fell in the space of 12 deliveries, with Harshal getting Jaiswal for 47 and David Willey the wicket of Padikkal for 52.

Sanju Samson managed only 22, while Shimron Hetmyer was run out cheaply for three. Jurel smacked 34 not out off 16 balls, while Ashwin threw his bat around to bring the game down to the last over.

But despite scoring 10 off three balls Ashwin was caught for 12 going for a big heave to give Harshal his third wicket of the game and Bangalore a seven-run victory.

“It is about momentum at this ground,” said losing skipper Samson.

“Normally, Hetmyer does it for us, but he had an off game. We have now lost two games in a row. It is time to pull up our socks and come back stronger.”

RR 7 4 3 0.844 1274/139.2 1162/140.0 8
LSG 7 4 3 0.547 1179/136.0 1133/139.3 8
CSK 6 4 2 0.355 1090/116.5 1071/119.2 8
GT 6 4 2 0.212 1015/117.2 1007/119.2 8
RCB 7 4 3 -0.008 1262/136.2 1297/140.0 8
PBKS 7 4 3 -0.162 1171/135.3 1171/133.0 8
MI 6 3 3 -0.254 1080/117.4 1080/114.3 6
KKR 6 2 4 0.214 1074/116.0 1022/113.0 4
SRH 6 2 4 -0.794 937/117.1 1008/114.4 4
DC 6 1 5 -1.183 898/119.2 1029/118.1 2

With AFP inputs