Rajasthan Royals (RR) landed the knock-out punch on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Saturday as they beat them by 30 runs at their home ground in Jaipur. The toss was always going to be an important factor in this match as the wicket looked to be quite dry from the start. RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane called it right and expectedly opted to bat first.
His decision proved right as the match progressed. The wicket kept offering more turn to the spinners and if it wasn’t for Rahul Tripathi’s unbeaten knock of 80 runs and cameos of 32 and 14 from Heinrich Klaasen and Krishnappa Gowtham respectively, RR would probably have never been able to put up a total of 164/5. Umesh Yadav bowled very well for RCB, registering figures of 3/25 but didn’t get enough support from other bowlers.
Bangalore’s chase, on the other hand, didn’t begin the way as they would have liked.They lost their skipper Virat Kohli quite early as Gowtham cleaned him up in the third over of the innings. AB de Villiers and Parthiv Patel looked like taking the game away from Rajasthan with their fierce hitting, but things turned on its head when the leg-spinners, especially Shreyas Gopal, came on to bowl. RCB's middle-order fell like a pack of cards and their only hope, de Villiers, also perished to the trickery of Gopal. The visitors ultimately folded up for 134 runs with four deliveries to spare.
Let us now have a look at how all the players performed in this match and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.
Shreyas Gopal — 10/10
Gopal turned the game on its head as he ran through Bangalore’s middle-order with his leg-spin. He started with the wicket of Parthiv Patel and followed it up with those of Moeen Ali and Mandeep Singh. The major moment of the match came when he got AB de Villiers stumped. He was the only bowler who had troubled him a bit and had kept him at bay. De Villiers’ wicket was the just reward for his excellent bowling. He registered figures of 4-0-16-4.
Umesh Yadav — 10/10
Umesh Yadav continued his rich vein of form as he registered figures of 4-1-25-3. He bowled a wicket-maiden in his very first over, dismissing Jofra Archer off the fourth delivery he bowled. Then he returned in his second spell and struck twice on consecutive deliveries to send back Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson back to the dug out.
Rahul Tripathi — 10/10
Tripathi saved his best for the last league match of his team. He began in the belligerent manner and kept the runs coming despite losing his opening partner Jofra Archer quite early in the innings. He stitched a crucial partnership of 99 runs for the second wicket with Ajinkya Rahane. Moreover, he held one end up as Rajasthan lost two quick wickets in the form of Rahane and Sanju Samson in the middle overs. It allowed the likes of Heinrich Klaasen and Krishnappa Gowtham to play freely and accelerate the scoring towards the end. Tripathi remained unbeaten on 80 runs off just 58 deliveries, an innings that consisted of five fours and three sixes.
Heinrich Klaasen — 9/10
Klaasen walked out to bat in the 14th over of the innings when Umesh Yadav had rocked Rajasthan with back-to-back blows, having dismissed Rahane and Samson. However, he showed a calm mind and dug deep into the innings. It was the 19th over when he took Mohammed Siraj to the cleaners. However, it was Siraj who had the last laugh in that over as he dismissed Klaasen for a knock of 32 runs off 21 deliveries. He also showed excellent keeping skills as he claimed a brilliant catch to dismiss Sarfaraz Khan and effected three stumpings as well.
Krishnappa Gowtham — 8/10
Although it might seem quite little on the scorecard, Gowtham’s contributions with both bat and ball were of utmost importance in the context of the game. He hit two sixes off the first two deliveries he faced and then stole a cheeky couple of runs as well that left the fielder Yuzvendra Chahal embarrassed. He scored priceless 14 runs off just five deliveries. Then he bowled two overs with the ball and claimed the all-important wicket of Kohli, conceding just six runs. His two brilliant catches in the outfield were the icing on the cake.
AB de Villiers — 8/10
The South African was Bangalore’s only hope when they were losing wickets at regular intervals. De Villiers stood at the other end like a rock and kept smashing bad deliveries to the fence. He also completed his fifty in this manner, but was out stumped soon by Klaasen off Gopal’s bowling. He was the only bowler who had troubled de Villiers and kept him at bay. De Villiers ultimately departed for 53 runs off 35 deliveries.
Ben Laughlin — 8/10
Laughlin bowled only a couple of overs but was excellent in those few deliveries. He claimed the wickets of Sarfaraz Khan and Umesh Yadav off consecutive deliveries. The yorker he bowled to get Yadav’s wicket was an absolute treat to watch. He registered excellent bowling figures of 2-0-15-2.
Jaydev Unadkat — 8/10
Unadkat was once again very good with his slower ones on a dry and sticky wicket. He varied his pace very well and beat the batsmen on most occasions. Both of his wickets, that of Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj, came in the death overs off slower deliveries. He was the one who finished things off with bowling figures of 3.2-0-27-2.
Parthiv Patel — 7/10
Patel got Bangalore off to a very good start along with de Villiers after the early loss of Kohli’s wicket. His partnership with de Villiers was worth 55 runs for the third wicket, and it helped RCB to recover from early jitters. He played aggressively throughout his knock of 33 runs off 21 deliveries but was finally stumped beautifully by Klaasen off Gopal’s bowling.
Ajinkya Rahane — 6/10
Rahane walked out to bat in the second over of their innings after their experiment to send Jofra Archer at the top of the order failed. He steadied the Royals’ ship along with Tripathi, adding 99 runs for the second wicket. He scored at almost a run-a-ball throughout his innings and was finally dismissed lbw in the 14th over by Umesh Yadav after scoring 33 runs off 31 deliveries.
Yuzvendra Chahal — 6/10
Chahal couldn’t pick up any wicket but he bowled tight and kept runs in check. He was unfortunate at times to not get wickets off good deliveries. But his threat was largely negated by RR batsmen who preferred to play him safely. He registered bowling figures of 4-0-26-0.
Ish Sodhi — 6/10
Sodhi’s bowling figures of 4-0-31-1 might not seem to be too impressive. However, he complemented Shreyas Gopal very well and built pressure from one end, allowing Gopal to wreak havoc. His delivery to dismiss Grandhomme was a treat to watch as it invited him for the drive, kissed the edge of the bat and flew straight to the fielder stationed at slip.
Mohammed Siraj — 5/10
Siraj bowled well for the major part of his spell, barring his last over when he got thrashed by Klaasen. But he came back well and dismissed him. He registered bowling figures of 4-0-33-1. He tried his best with the bat and scored 14 runs but that was too little for the task at hand.
Tim Southee — 2/10
The Kiwi pacer continued to be expensive even in this match. He conceded 37 runs off his four overs and couldn’t trouble any of the batsmen at all. He was totally ineffective and was played with ease by most of the Royals’ batsmen. He tried to get Bangalore over the line with the bat but his innings of 14 runs off 17 balls was not good enough.
Sarfaraz Khan — 2/10
Young Sarfaraz Khan looked good in the only boundary he scored in his little innings of 7 runs. He was dismissed off a brilliant piece of keeping by Klaasen who grabbed the ball as Sarfaraz tried to run it down the third man in a cheeky manner.
Sanju Samson — 1/10
Samson was dismissed for a golden duck, trying to pull a delivery down the leg side. All he managed was a faint edge which was gobbled up Moeen Ali at mid-wicket.
Moeen Ali — 1/10
Ali conceded 19 runs off the two overs he bowled on a track that aided spinners. With the bat, he was dismissed for just a solitary run at a crucial stage of their innings, failing to read the spin from Shreyas Gopal.
Colin de Grandhomme — 1/10
Grandhomme failed to contribute with both bat and ball. He was very expensive with the ball as he leaked 23 runs in two overs he bowled. Moreover, he was dismissed for just two runs by Ish Sodhi when Bangalore needed him to stay with de Villiers in the middle.
Virat Kohli — 1/10
The Royal Challengers skipper didn’t look like at his best as he struggled right from the first delivery. He was ultimately cleaned up by Krishnappa Gowtham as he tried to drag his delivery down the leg side, only to miss it because of the slight turn and grip the ball extracted from the ground. He scored just four runs after struggling for nine deliveries.
Mandeep Singh — 1/10
He couldn’t do anything special and was bamboozled by Gopal just like other batsmen. He was stumped by Klaasen off Gopal’s bowling only for three runs made off four balls.
Jofra Archer — 1/10
Archer had a bad outing on Saturday. He was out for a duck, having been asked to open the innings alongside Tripathi. Then he conceded 37 runs from his four wicketless overs.
Stuart Binny — NA
Binny neither batted nor bowled in this match. So it would be pretty unfair to rate him just on the basis of his fielding.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor