The schedule for the first two weeks of the 12th edition of Indian Premier League has already been announced. While the matches begin from 23rd March, the first match will be between the reigning champion Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
While CSK had a glorious return to the IPL after two year-sabbatical, it was not an easy ride for RCB. They struggled a bit, especially towards the end, and missed the playoffs by only two points. Nonetheless, RCB remains a strong team, both on paper and off it.
With IPL only under a month away, here are the three biggest victories of RCB in IPL:
3Royal Challenger Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab
Royal Challengers, after having made an awkward start to their 2018 IPL campaign with defeats against Kolkata Knight Riders, CSK, and Mumbai Indians. However, they found form after the crucial defeat of Delhi Daredevils. Although everyone had expected RCB to put on a solid show in their next match against KXIP, no one had thought that they could outclass the latter.
After opting to bowl first, RCB bowled with great intent and aggression. Umesh Yadav dismissed the home team’s openers in the fifth over followed by another wicket in the following over by Karun Nair. That was the turning point for the Kings, as they kept losing wickets on regular intervals to reduce from 36-0 to 88-10.
Skipper Virat Kohli (48*) and Parthiv Patel (40*) then came in the second innings to finish off the task. The 10-wicket win, thus, became one of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s biggest victories in the IPL history.
2Royal Challenger Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India
This is a match that any RCB fan can hardly forget. It was the 2013 edition of IPL and the Challengers were slaughtering team with the batting trio of Gayle-Kohli-AVB. However, things reached a new high against the newly inducted Pune Warriors India.
Asked to bat first, Gayle hit bowlers after bowlers for sixes after sixes and there was no way of stopping him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishwar Pandey, the 2012 Ranji season’s highest-wicket-taker, and Mitchell Marshall were at the receiving end of the West Indian’s onslaught. Captain Aaron Finch even tried as many as 7 bowlers to stop Gayle, including himself, but to no avail.
By the end of the innings, Gayle had smashed a slew of IPL records on his way:
the fastest century in the format – off just 30 balls;
the highest individual T20 score – 175* not out;
the most number of sixes by a batsman in a T20 inning – 17;
Moreover, he also helped RCB reach the highest total in IPL history – 263.
It very rarely happens that the contest is over even before it begins. This was one of those matches. Pune, in reply, could muster only 133 runs, handing RCB a huge 130-run victory, the fifth biggest win in the league’s history.
1Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions
However impressive the previous triumph may be, the win against Pune isn’t RCB’s biggest victories. In fact, the number one spot goes to 2016 IPL match against Gujrat Lions.
Asked to bat first, RCB had a nervy start with Gayle (6) going out early. The task then lay at the hands of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. The duo played one of the best knocks of their life as they hit 129 and 109 to take RCB from 19-1 to 248-1. That was also a record partnership in IPL’s history.
A visibly distraught Gujarat Lions could manage a paltry 104 in reply. The 144-run victory, as a result, was RCB’s biggest in terms of runs-margin. Moreover, it also finds a second place in the all-time biggest IPL wins.