Rajasthan Royals (RR) have finally opened their account with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Tuesday in Jaipur.
Rajasthan won the toss and elected to field first. A brilliant spell from Shreyas Gopal dismantled Bangalore’s batting line up and restricted them within 158/4 in 20 overs; where Parthiv Patel scored a 41-ball 67.
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Chasing the total, Rajasthan also faced some hiccups but a half-century from Jos Buttler and a late cameo from Rahul Tripathi and Steven Smith guided them to a comfortable win in the final over.
Here are the three talking points from the encounter:
Shreyas Gopal’s fiery spell
The Karnataka leg spinner Shreyas Gopal’s spell was the highlight of yesterday’s game. He came into bowl in the 7th over. His third delivery sent Bangalore captain Virat Kohli in the dugout. His next over saw AB de Villiers’ dismissal for 13.
He again came into bowl in the 11th over and his first delivery was seen the dismissal of Shimron Hetmyer; was caught by Jos Buttler behind the stumps in the 11th over. He ended up his spell with a brilliant figure of 4-1-12-3. His fiery spell didn’t let Bangalore’s batting settle down in the middle and they managed to put up 158 on board.
Over-dependence on Yuzvendra Chahal
Rajasthan started their chase in a strong way. Both Ajinkya Rahane and Joss Buttler started hitting big shots from the beginning. They added 55 runs in the powerplay without any loss of wicket.
When the other bowlers couldn’t restrict the Rajasthan openers, Kohli handed over the ball to Yuzvendra Chahal. He picked up Rahane in his very first over and give his side their first breakthrough while conceding mere 2 runs.
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He came back in the 13th over and dismissed the dangerous looking Joss Buttler who was playing at 59 then. In the 16th over which was eventually Chahal’s final over, he once again created another chance of dismissing Steve Smith but Umesh Yadav missed to grab the catch. He ended his spell with 4-0-17-2.
Apart from Yuzvendra Chahal, none of the other bowlers were able to pose a hurdle in front of the Rajasthan Batsmen and their victory was evident.
Poor fielding by RCB
Bangalore managed to put up 158 on board after 20 overs; which was not a great score but a competitive one. But their bowlers failed to restrict Rajasthan from winning. Along with the bowling, a dismal fielding also caused their defeat.
They dropped 4 catches which could have turned the table in the game. The first one was the dismissal of Rahane which came very early when Rahane had edged the ball by Navdeep Saini and was dropped behind the stumps by the captain Virat Kohli. This early life helped Rahane to score more runs before his dismissal for 22.
Steve Smith got two lives in the 16th and 19th over respectively. Smith was playing on 23 off 21 balls in the 16th over when he hit Chahal over extra cover. The ball safely landed in Umesh Yadav’s palm at deep cover but he failed to hold that which gave Smith a chance to survive.
In the 19th over, Smith was dropped down again. This time it was the substitute fielder, Pawan Negi at mid-wicket who dropped Smith. After one ball, Rahul Tripathi was dropped by Moeen Ali at deep mid-wicket. Both Smith and Tripathi anchored the chase till the end and Tripathi smashed a maximum to seal the chase.
If RCB grab those dismissal chances, they might have won the game. Since they failed to do it, they need to settle their squad as soon as possible to win the games.