Smith and Faulkner blitz Bangalore

India

Australian duo Steven Smith and James Faulkner swatted a the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack to all corners of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Australian duo Steven Smith and James Faulkner swatted a the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack to all corners of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, as the Rajasthan Royals gathered an entertaining five-wicket victory in Sunday's important Indian Premier League fixture.

Bangalore captain Virat Kohli's choice to bat first after winning the toss brought a formidable total of 190 for five – on the back of all-rounder Yuvraj Singh's cavalier 83 not out and South African recruit AB de Villiers' complementary 58.

Singh and de Villiers shared eight boundaries and as many as a dozen handsome sixes during an ambitious 132-run stand for the fourth wicket, which spanned five deliveries more than half the innings.

Smith and Faulkner, however, were prompt in upstaging that century stand. Rajasthan were all but out of the contest after slipping to 106 for five in the 14th over. The dashing right-handers, however, clouted an unbroken 85-run partnership in just 5.2 overs.

There was no respite in the onslaught, as Smith romped to 48 not out from 21 deliveries and Faulkner an unbeaten 41 in 17, as triumph arrived with 1.1 overs to spare, with the latter named Man of the Match. Spinner Yuvraj's four-wicket haul, meanwhile, went in vain.

Singh's ability to slow the soaring run-rate suggested the Challengers should have bowled a third slow bowler. Fast bowlers Albie Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Ashok Dinda and Varun Aaron, instead, proved entirely expensive.

The result propelled the Royals to third position in the eight-team standings, while the Bangalore franchise slipped to sixth. Monday's lone IPL fixture will see the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.

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