Glenn Maxwell scored his 10th Indian Premier League fifty as Royal Challengers Bangalore cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals.
Australia star Maxwell scored 50 not out from 30 deliveries as RCB comfortably chased down their target of 150 with 17 balls to spare, finishing on 153-3.
Maxwell put on 69 with wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat (44), a partnership that ended any doubt over the outcome of the match after a brief hiccup when captain Virat Kohli (25) was run out.
Having been put in to bat by Kohli, Rajasthan had earlier looked like they were cruising to a huge total when they reached 100-1 after 11 overs, but the dismissal of opener Evin Lewis – who had smashed 58 runs off 37 balls – sparked a collapse to 149-9.
Yuzvendra Chahal (2-18) and Shahbaz Ahmed (2-10) impressed, with their combined six overs producing four wickets at an economy rate of 4.67, while debutant George Garton (1-30) was the man to remove Lewis.
Maxwell then racked up six fours and a sole maximum in an easy run chase for RCB, with Mustafizur Rahman (2-20) the only Rajasthan bowler to offer up any meaningful resistance.
Rajasthan Royals have now lost their last four matches against RCB, extending what was already their longest active losing streak against a single opponent in the IPL.
With three straight losses, a playoff berth is starting to look like a tough ask for Rajasthan in contrast to RCB, who sit comfortably in third place after responding to a three-game losing run with two consecutive victories, Maxwell getting a fifty in both triumphs.
Harshal Patel (3-34) was already the leader in the purple cap race with 23 wickets coming into the match, having become only the fourth RCB player in IPL history to record a hat-trick last time out against Mumbai Indians.
It looked like he was in for a frustrating outing here but his persistence paid off as he claimed three wickets in the last over of a Rajasthan innings that went downhill rapidly, extending his advantage atop the standings. (www.sportsmax.tv)