Despite not winning a single title in the 13-years long history of the league, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is considered as one of the most fearsome franchises featuring at the IPL. The presence of mega-stars of the game like Kohli and de Villiers makes it one of the most followed franchise around the world and thus, a stellar performance against them garners a lot of attention. The bowlers especially have thrived under the challenge of performing against the ‘red army’ and won important games for their respective franchises. We will be talking about a few such displays in the present article. In the below piece, we look at 5 best bowling figures against RCB in IPL history:
1. Ashish Nehra (4-10)
The veteran left-arm seamer from India, Nehra tops the list for best bowling figures, having conjured the performance against RCB during the 20th game at Bengaluru in IPL 2015. Batting first, CSK posted a commanding total of 181-8 on the board, owing to impressive knocks of 62(32) by Raina and 39(29) by Smith. For RCB, Chahal and Abdulla were the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3-40 and 2-36 respectively.
In reply, the home team was restricted to 154-8 in their 20 overs, a courtesy brilliant spell of 4-10 by Nehra, who maintained an economy rate of just 2.50 and helped CSK in clinching the encounter by 27 runs. Kohli was the top scorer for RCB with a valiant innings of 51(42).
2. Mohammad Nabi (4-11)
The veteran of Afghanistan cricket, Nabi bowled this spell for SRH during the 11th game at Hyderabad in IPL 2019. Put into bat first, SRH piled up a mountain of runs on the board, scoring 231-2 in their 20 overs, courtesy century knocks of 114(56) by Bairstow and 100(55) by Warner.
In response, RCB were demolished for a mere 113 in 19.5 overs, losing the contest comprehensively by 118 runs. Off-spinner Nabi was the pick of the bowler for SRH with 4-11, bowling at an economy rate of 2.75. He was nicely assisted by Sandeep, who scalped 3-19.
3. Dhawal Kulkarni (4-14)
A hit-the-deck bowler from Mumbai, Kulkarni produced this spell playing for GL during the Qualifier 1 at Bengaluru in IPL 2016. The Gujarat side while batting first, could only post 158, who were able to reach there courtesy one-man-show from Smith, who scored 73(41). Watson was the star for RCB with the ball in hand, scalping 4-29.
Kulkarni‘s extraordinary spell of 4-14 with one maiden and an economy rate of 3.50, turned the contest into a one-sided affair at one point, but then came the onslaught from de Villiers, who took the game away. Hammering 79(47), de Villiers helped RCB in winning the nerve-racking contest by 4 wickets and 10 balls to spare, storming their way into the final of IPL 2016.
4. Shreyas Gopal (4-16)
A talented leg-spinner from Karnataka, Gopal pulled off the spell for RR during the 53rd game at Jaipur in IPL 2018. Rajasthan, who batted first, posted a competitive total of 164-5 in their 20 overs, owing to knocks of 80(58) by Tripathi and 32(21) by Klaasen. Umesh Yadav was brilliant with the ball for RCB, picking up 3-25.
It was a do-or-die encounter for both teams and RCB did their best to overhaul the total posted by RR. Unfortunately, they could manage only 134 in 19.2 overs, where de Villiers top-scored with 53(35). RR won the contest by 30 runs and the credit for the same has to go to the wonderful spell of 4-16 bowled by Gopal, maintaining an economy rate of 4.0.
5. Piyush Chawla (4-17)
One of the best leg-spinners going around, Chawla produced his career-best bowling figures, against RCB during the 63rd game at Dharamsala in IPL 2011. The Punjab side, who batted first, posted a gargantuan total of 232-2 in their 20 overs, on the back of stellar innings of 106(55) by Gilchrist and 79(49) by Marsh.
The target was a stiff one for RCB to chase and as expected, they were bundled out for 121 in 17 overs, going down in the contest by 111 runs. Wrist-spinner, Chawla was at his impeccable best, snapping up 4-17 while maintaining an economy rate of 4.25 and contributing immensely to the grand victory.