From there on, skipper Virat Kohli took matters in his hands and started playing his shots right from the word go. Kohli struck a brilliant 57 from 30 balls and put his team in the drivers seat. He was well supported by Quinton de Kock who scored 26 runs from 19 balls.
At one stage RCB were cruising 81/1 in eight overs and the target looked within their reach. But right after Kohli’s departure, the team just could not put up a fight any further. They lost three quick wickets in the middle overs and never recovered from there.
Mandeep Singh and Washington Sundar tried to do some damage control towards the end of the match and struck some boundaries, but that didn’t prove enough.
In the bowling department, Royals’ pacers were rather ordinary on the day. Dhawal Kulkarni bowled only one over in the day and gave away 14 runs. Jaydev Unadkat couldn’t prove his worth with the ball and gave 35 runs in his three overs.
But leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal bowled well in the middle over and bagged the prized wickets of Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Earlier in the day, it was a brilliant batting display by Rajasthan Royals to post a mammoth 217 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Samson shone once again with the bat in this edition of the IPL. He scored a blistering 92 from just 45 balls that took his team to a strong total. The 23-year-old took the attack to the opposition bowlers and struck them all round the park. Such was his domination that he hit 10 sixes in his innings and two boundaries as well.
Courtesy his effort, Rajasthan scored 88 runs in the last five overs of the innings. What makes his innings a special one is the fact that it came at a time when Rajasthan were in a tricky position, after losing two wickets for just 53 runs in 6.5 overs. He was ably supported by England international Jos Buttler, who only scored 23 runs from 14 balls, but stuck around when Sanju was going great guns. The duo strung together a partnership of 73 runs.
Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane gave his team a positive start, scoring 36 from 20 balls. His opening partner Darcy Short, on the other hand, continued to struggle in the tournament as he could only manage 11 runs.
In the bowling department, RCB spearhead Umesh Yadav, who has been in fine nick, leaked 59 runs in four overs. Other pacers—Kulwant Khejroliya and Chris Woakes gave away 47 and 40 runs, respectively.
Spinners Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal were really good on the day, but couldn’t do enough from letting the opposition score above 200. Chahal got good assistance from the wicket to create trouble for the batsmen and returned with figures of 2/22 in his four overs.
First Published: April 15, 2018, 7:57 PM IST