If you’re a Rajasthan fan, you’d be proud and if you’re an Indian cricket fan, you’d be beaming.
It was a day which added some more confusion to the already confused selectors with two more names being added to the crowded list – Ajinkya Rahane and Siddharth Trivedi.
Starting off with the bat, the men in blue seemed to be putting up a par score as they inched with 6 runs an over, which is insufficient in a T20. Vettori got the breakthrough with Dravid’s wicket and the relief was showing on his face, after the last game’s disaster. But after Du Plessis stole the orange cap off Rahane’s head yesterday, the youngster was greedy to get it back. A beautiful performance by him saw the maiden century of this season’s IPL. His choice of shots and variety was something to watch, especially the over where he bundled six 4′s in an over as the crowd in M. Chinnaswamy stadium roared.
A tweet went around twitter at this time read:
“If you missed the six consecutive fours that Rahane hit, you missed a glimpse of future Indian cricket. #IPL“
The batsman had made a name for himself by scoring a brilliant 98 in his team’s first game and went on to better that score today with a blistering 103 not out, off 60 balls. He got the support he needed, with Owais Shah smashing 60 off 26 balls. A match which was moving slowly, all of a sudden saw a change as the Royals smacked every bowler who Vettori brought on, and saw the two put up a fantastic partnership of 121 in just 50 balls as the final scoreboard read 195/2.
A tweet that circulated at this point was:
“Great display by Rajasthan, but fear not RCB fans, the Gayle storm is yet to hit them! #IPL“
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and it was the Rajasthan bowling that created havoc. A good start by RCB led by Mayank Agarwal raised hopes for the supporters. This youngster has been a good player for the Challengers this season, giving them the required start, consistently, while Chris Gayle has been playing a slightly different tune. But as Agarwal’s wicket fell, things started to go down south for the Challengers. When Gayle played the ball on to his own stumps, the jubilation in the Rajasthan camp started. They had won half the battle. “Mr. Reliable” AB De Villiers walked in to partner Virat Kohli but it was the Royals all the way. A brilliant display by Siddharth Trivedi saw him get crucial middle order wickets and keep the pressure on the Challengers.
Trivedi’s bowling was outstanding, as he produced brilliant variations, making the batsmen struggle at the crease. He was pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-25-4. The fans still hoped for a miracle when Saurabh Tiwary smashed a few sixes, but once he departed, the game was more or less over. An impossible equation saw the men from Bangalore tumble and end the game at 136 with a ball to spare.
It was a much needed victory for the Royals coming from back to back losses, and such a convincing 59-run win will definitely boost their moral.
Crucial point: The main part where the game was lost would be the last few overs of the Royals’ innings, where every Bangalore bowler was clobbered around the stadium. Though the Challengers knew it was a gettable score after Chennai demonstrated it to them in the last game, the momentum was with Dravid’s men.
As evident, the graph shows how their run rate leaped up during the last few overs, while keeping their wickets intact, which mounted the pressure on Vettori’s men.
Overall, it was a game where one team was completely outplayed, and leaves them in a position that has to see them come out on top in the next fixture, to avoid further humiliation.