IPL 2019: Steve Smith bids adieu to Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals won three and one match got abandoned of the five matches under Steve Smith's captaincy.
Updated - May 1, 2019 11:53 am
Steve Smith’s stint in this year’s Indian Premier League ended in an unexpected manner as Rajasthan Royals’ clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore ended in a washout. Which means both the teams shared a point each. As a result, Royal Challengers Bangalore became the first team this season to be eliminated out of the competition. On the other hand, the Royals are still mathematically alive but will need nothing less than a miracle to progress ahead of the group stage.
The start of the game was delayed due to downpour. It was then reduced to five overs per side as the game had already lost three and a half hour. Asked to bat first, the Royal Challengers scored 62 for 7 despite scoring 23 in the very first over. Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal halted their charge by taking a sensational hat-trick in the second over of the match. Gopal dismissed Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis to derail Royal Challengers’ innings.
In reply, the Royals started strongly and needed just 22 runs from the last ten balls. However, rain dashed their hopes of registering another win, thus leaving their playoff chances hanging by a thread. The washout was also a bitter goodbye for Smith who will now return home to join his national team’s preparations for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. The former Australis skipper, who had missed the IPL in 2018 due to his ball-tampering ban, returned to the Royals this season and scored 319 runs in 12 matches at an average of 39.87 which included three half-centuries.
Smith also took over the captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane after the first 8 games with the latter’s poor performance and made an immediate impact. Under Smith, Royals won 3 of their four games before the fifth was washed out.
Before his departure, Steve Smith wrote a heartfelt message for the Royals. The star batsman took to Instagram to thank the franchise before wishing the team luck for their final league clash.
“Thank you @rajasthanroyals for the last 7 weeks. I’ve enjoyed every minute of this IPL and I’m glad to be involved with such a great franchise with so many wonderful people. Good luck in Delhi boys!” Smith wrote.