Needing a win badly, Rajasthan Royals got off to a flyer after opting to bat on a pitch that was favourable to batsmen.
Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal took to the attack against Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers from the get go! They played with intent and the duo wasted no time in going big — first they dispatch Glenn Maxwell for 13 runs in the third over before debutant left arm seamer George Garton was handed the treatment.
Garton’s bowling was unimpressive as he bowled loose ball after loose ball only for the batsmen to take advantage, make merry and take 18 runs off his second over.
Last match’s hat-trick hero and Rediff.com‘s Most Valuable Player Harshal Patel was also not spared.
He tried to mix his lengths and lines but didn’t get it right and the bad balls were rightly punished. Harshal gave 13 runs in his opening over. The Rajasthan Royals made the most of the Powerplay overs and then quickly raced to 70-0 in 8 overs.
But once Dan Christian got the first breakthrough in the very next over, Rajasthan could just not rally.
Lewis became Garton’s first IPL victim and this started Rajasthan’s slide.
Yuzvendra Chahal then saw Mahipal Lomror’s movements and foxed him with a googly as the left-hander tried to step out. He misses it completely and is stumped out for 3.
Although Sanju Samson was at the crease, he was a pale shadow of himself from the self-assured batter we witnessed in the game against SunRisers Hyderabad on Monday.
Samson was dismissed as soon as left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed was brought into the attack.
Shahbaz struck again in the same over taking out Rahul Tewatia.
Rajasthan couldn’t find any player in the middle-order who’d stick around and put on a semblance of a par total. They self-destructed against some clinical bowling by Shahbaz and Chahal.
From 91-1 in 10 overs, the Royals slumped to 117 for 5 in 14 overs. Rajasthan’s feeble middle-order was again exposed as runs came in a trickle in singles and twos.
Losing wickets at regular intervals, Shahbaz’s double strike in the 14th over and then Chahal and Harshal’s wickets strangled Rajasthan who only managed 49 runs in the last 9 overs for the fall of 8 wickets.
RCB bowlers fought back well after getting battered around in the first 10 overs of the match to eventually come back strongly and put Rajasthan in a hole.
150 was eventually a total that was quite simple to overhaul with the batting talent in RCB ranks.
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