Coming into the attack after a 23-run opening over off Varun Aaron, Gopal had to disturb RCB's momentum but was pitted against a Virat Kohli striking the ball with full power. The RCB skipper sent Gopal's first ball over long-on for a maximum and then smashed him through long-off for four off the next ball. He nearly hit another boundary next ball but Liam Livingstone pulled off a brilliant piece of fielding to deny Kohli another boundary.
Off the fourth ball of the over, Gopal had the opposition skipper holing out long-on. He has bowled 12 balls at the Indian skipper in T20s, conceding 24 runs and picking up his wicket thrice. He wasn't done though and deceived AB de Villiers in flight next ball. The South African miscued the slog and ended up gifting a catch to cover. Marcus Stoinis then walked in and slammed the first ball he faced to mid-off to give Gopal a hat-trick.
This is the second hat-trick of the 2019 season after Sam Curran's exploits against Delhi Capitals earlier in the season. This is the 19th hat-trick in the history of the Indian Premier League. 13 of them are now by Indians and 12 of them are by spinners.
Gopal's hat-trick makes it the fourth hat-trick by a Rajasthan Royals player in the IPL. Earlier Ajit Chandila, Pravin Tambe and Shane Watson had taken hat-tricks for the Royals in the tournament.
It's also only the second hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL after Yuvraj Singh's hat-trick in the 2009 season.
Shreyas Gopal, a Karnataka lad, knows the Chinnaswamy well. This is his second hat-trick in the stadium after one in the Irani Cup in 2013-14. He also excels regularly against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Earlier this season, Gopal had picked up identical figures (3/12) albeit in two overs more by dismissing Kohli, de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer.
He has recorded figures of 2/22, 4/16, 3/12 and 3/12 in the four matches he has played against RCB. That's a total of 12 wickets in four matches. He became the only player to dismiss Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers twice in the same season. He has now dismissed Kohli thrice and de Villiers four times in his T20 career. After a 23-run opening over, Gopal's hat-trick helped pull things back for Rajasthan Royals in the rain-shortened five-over contest.
First Published: May 1, 2019, 12:59 AM IST