Rahane ton overpowers Bangalore

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Ajinkya Rahane smashed the first century of the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League as the Rajasthan Royals thrashed the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs in Sunday's clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Ajinkya Rahane smashed the first century of the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League as the Rajasthan Royals thrashed the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 59 runs in Sunday's clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Banking on the promise of Rahane's 98 against the Kings XI Punjab a week ago, and Owais Shah's 76 against the Mumbai Indians four days after that, the tournament was crying out for its maiden century.

Rahane dutifully obliged, blazing a dozen boundaries and five sixes en route to 103 not out from just 60 balls. Taking a particular liking to the loose fodder coughed up by Sreenath Aravind, the hard-hitting right-hander struck the hapless seamer for a record six consecutive fours across one merciless over.

Reaching his half-ton from 41 deliveries, the foundation was there to cash in on. Rahane made no mistake, requiring just 17 more balls to meet three figures. The four he flat-batted over long-on fielder Virat Kohli's head to reach milestone typified the audacity of the knock's entirety.

Owais Shah, meanwhile, weighed in with a complementary 60. The England recruit, lambasting five fours and as many sixes during his 26-delivery cameo, clearly cherished his promotion to three in the order.

Rahane, for his 260 runs from five innings, and Shah, on 204 runs, now lie first and second in the 2012 IPL run-scoring charts. Impressive figures, indeed, and a far cry from the numerical despair the Bangalore bowlers fetched.

Aravind was the worst of the lot, going for 46 runs from his three overs. Vinay Kumar wasn't much better with 51 from four, while spinner Chris Gayle's sole over flew for a hefty 21 runs.

The Royal Challengers' reply was always going to be a daunting task after the dangerous Gayle fell cheaply. AB de Villiers fall for just six made it all the more harder.

Siddharth Trivedi ripped the heart out of the opposition middle order to finish with fine figures of four for 25. There was little a hopeful lower order could do but stave off the inevitable with some belated hitting before 136 all out left the deal well sealed in favour of the visiting side.

While Sunday's result dealt the Royal Challengers Bangalore their third successive defeat this year, the Rajasthan Royals soared to the top of the nine-team standings on six points and a super net run-rate.

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