Australian Mitchell Starc has carried on his man of the tournament form from the World Cup by bowling his Royal Challengers Bangalore side to victory against the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
Starc returned figures of 3-22 from his four overs to help restrict the Royals to 9-130 from their 20 overs, before the Challengers – led by 62 not out from captain Virat Kohli – scored 1-134 to win by nine wickets.
Starc’s wicket haul included that of his Australian teammate Steve Smith, dismissed for 31 off 28 balls as his Royals team slumped to their second straight defeat.
Kohli and South African AB de Villiers closed out the game for the Challengers through a 98-run partnership.
“Tonight was a team performance (and) it was a performance any captain would have been proud of,” Kohli said.
“It was a pleasure to bat with AB, he is one of the best in the world at the moment.”
Another Australian in the Royals line-up, Shane Watson, scored 26 off 22 balls before he was caught by Starc in the deep off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Watson says his side needs to adapt better to the conditions.
“We had a really good crack out there but we didn’t have enough runs,” he said.
“We were outplayed today, it was just one of those days.
“We didn’t sum up conditions quick enough, 150-160 may well have been enough tonight … we need to turn this momentum around now.”