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IPL 2018, Match 53, RR vs RCB, Review – Sensational Royals punch above their weight to kick the visitors out of the tournament

Gopal registered his best figures of 4/16 and won the game for his team.

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals’ Shreyas Gopal celebrates fall of Mandeep Singh’s wicket. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Rajasthan Royals (RR) have defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 30 runs in the must-win encounter at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. It was a thoroughly convincing show put up by the home side as they kicked the RCB out of the tournament. Rahul Tripathi and Shreyas Gopal were the heroes of the day who kept the opposition at bay throughout the game. However, the Royals are still alive and would want to go other results their way in order to sneak through to the playoffs.

The luck for Ajinkya Rahane with the coin toss continued as he opted to bat first anticipating that the wicket will get slow as the game progresses. The home side made three changes to their side and a couple of them were forced as Heinrich Klaasen and Ben Laughlin replaced Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes even as Shreyas Gopal came into the playing XI as well. Virat Kohli fielded an unchanged team for this must-win game and was also happy that they were bowling first.

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Tripathi special propels the Royals

The Royals needed someone to play like Buttler who used to play blinders and carry the responsibility of run-scoring throughout the innings. They surprisingly sent Jofra Archer to open the innings along with Rahul Tripathi and the move failed miserably as the former was sent back by Umesh Yadav in the second over of the innings. But the young Tripathi kept on playing his natural game which paid off and his team got off to a decent start. His skipper Ajinkya Rahane also played well and supported him.

He began smashing in the third over when Moeen Ali delivered a flat ball wide ball outside off and the youngster got down on one knee to slog sweep it over the deep backward square leg. However, the visitors had a golden chance of sending him back in the same over when he the ball turned after pitching to hit him on the back leg. But the bowler and the wicketkeeper looked least interested to go for a review after which the hawk-eye showed that the ball was hitting the stumps.

Nevertheless, Tripathi made them pay and scored the half-century as well. The 99-run stand between him and Rahane was broken by Umesh Yadav as the latter was caught in front of the stumps. He got the priced scalped of Sanju Samson off the very next delivery itself as the batsman flicked the length ball straight to the man at the short mid-wicket. But Tripathi didn’t perturb with the action at the other end and continued playing his shots as he got good support from the likes of Klaasen and Krishnappa Gowtham.

As many as three sixes were hit in the last couple of overs courtesy of the latter and the score of the Royals propelled significantly. Tripathi batted brilliantly and never gave away his wicket to eventually remain unbeaten on 80 off just 58 deliveries as the hosts ended their innings on 164 runs for the loss of 5 wickets.

De Villiers leads the way

RCB got off to the worst possible start to their chase as their skipper Virat Kohli was castled by Gowtham who has now made it a habit to pick big wickets in the powerplay. But the arrival of AB de Villiers changed the things as he straightaway got stuck into Archer who was bowling at pace. He was taken apart by some exceptional batting from the man in-form. Even the other opener Parthiv Patel opened his arms to earn some quick runs as the visitors shrugged off the disappointment of losing their captain early.

Gopal spins the web

The real test of the RCB batsmen was going to start now as the Royals had two leg-spinners up their sleeve on a turning pitch. Shreyas Gopal was the man who turned out to be the hero for them as first broke the flourishing stand and sent back Parthiv who lost his balance after missing the ball which stayed a touch low only to get stumped. The wicket triggered the sensational collapse as Moeen Ali was dismissed in the same over. Meanwhile, De Villiers showed his class and he reached his half-century to keep his team in the game.

However, the hopes vanished soon with Mandeep Singh unnecessarily trying to hoick the ball by stepping down to get stumped even as Colin de Grandhomme handed the catch to slips to leave their side in tatters. Though the wicket of De Villiers off Gopal was the final nail in the coffin for the visitors. Gopal superbly flighted the ball as the batsman came forward to drive it through the covers for a single but ended up missing it completely due to the turn and also lost his balance as the rest was done by Klaasen.

RCB had collapsed from being 75/1 to 98/6 and the end was nigh for them. Ben Laughlin came on to bowl in the 16th over and sent back the last recognised batsman in the line-up Sarfaraz Khan after which castled Umesh to raise the possibilities of a big win for his team. Eventually, they were bundled out for 134 in the last over as the Royals sealed the game by 30 runs.

Brief Scores

Rajasthan Royals 164/5 after 20 overs (R Tripathi 80*, A Rahane 33; U Yadav 3/25)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 130 after 18.5 overs (AB de Villiers 53; S Gopal 4/16, B Laughlin 2/15)

Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 30 runs

Man of the Match: Shreyas Gopal

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