ABD’s wicket perhaps was the sweetest for Gopal, and his reaction said it all. The bowler’s mild celebration was an indication that he had taken his team close a playoff berth. Gopal’s bowling gave the necessary impetus to other RR bowlers and Ben Laughlin too got into the act. He bagged two back-to-back wickets.
It all started with Krishnappa Gowtham castling RCB skipper Virat Kohli in the third over the match. Kohli’s ongoing struggle against the spinners continued, as it was his 8th dismissal against them, this year.
De Villiers scored his 28th IPL fifth, but could not prevent a loss for his team on a tough pitch. He scored 53 from 35 balls but got no support from any other batsman.
Earlier in the day, it was a gallant effort from Rajasthan opener Rahul Tripathi to take his team to 164/5 in 20 overs. The right hand batsman, Tripathi carried his bat through the innings and scored a masterful 80 from 58 balls. His innings included five fours and three maximums, and he ran hard for between the wickets to notch his first fifty of this year’s tournament.
After electing to bat first, Rajasthan skipper sprung a surprise went he sent Jofra Archer, known for his bowling abilities, to open alongside Tripathi. The move failed miserably as Archer got out for a duck, leaving his team in trouble at 1/2.
From there on Rahane and Tripathi steadied the ship and strung a crucial 99-run partnership for the team. The captain played a second fiddle to Tripathi as the former constantly looked to give strike to his partner. Before falling to Umesh Yadav, Rahane scored 33 runs from 31 balls that included just three boundaries.
Once the team that was 113/3 after 15 overs, scored 51 runs in the last five overs largely due to the efforts of Protean Heinrich Klaasen. He scored a brisk 32 runs from 21 balls. And Rajasthan innings concluded with another cameo from Krinappa Gowtham who hit Tim Southee for two sixes in the last over of the innings. He ended with 14 runs from 5 balls.
This batting effort by RR meant that their batsmen could step-up sans Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
On the bowling front, pacer Umesh Yadav shone for Bangalore yet again as he returned with match figures of 3/25 in his quota of four overs. More importantly Yadav delivered a maiden over too.
This effort from Yadav meant that he now has 20 wickets in this IPL season, the most for him in a single edition. Also, he is just four wickets away from purple cap holder Andrew Tye (24).
Other RCB bowlers, though economical, didn’t have many wickets to show against their names. Only Mohammad Siraj bagged a wicket in the entire Rajasthan innings. On the flipside, Colin de Grandhomme was hit for 23 runs in his 2 overs.
IPL 2018 POINTS TABLE
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First Published: May 19, 2018, 7:39 PM IST