Rajasthan Royals entered this contest with no wins under their belt. They were playing at home alright but they were up against another winless team this season, but when it’s RCB you never be sure of victory. The Royals though stuck to their plans to clinch a comfortable 7 wicket victory over Virat’s men. With this win, RR registered their first victory of IPL 2019.
Winning the toss at home electing to field first, RR were patient as the wickets did not come in a heap at the start of the innings as RCB raced to 48 in the powerplay. The introduction of Shreyas Gopal opened up the game for the Royals as he took the wicket of circumspect Virat and then AB de Villiers immediately in his next over. And then Hetmyer in the next one. RR did not try to be too aggressive as RCB was intent on not losing any more wickets. Eventually, RR stopped RCB for 158.
The chase began well for RR as the opening duo of Rahane and Jos Buttler, who was the aggressor of the two, piled on 60 by the 8th over to set a solid platform. Buttler, in partnership with Smith, took the score above hundred and then Smith and Rahul Tripathi’s sensible batting sealed the game for the Royals.
Man of the match Shreyas Gopal was the peak of the bowlers for the Royals with 3 wickets for 12 runs. He must also be proud of the wickets he took – Kohli, de Villiers, and Hetmyer. Jofra Archer took the 4th RCB wickets. Rest of the bowlers were wicketless. Jos Buttle top scored with 59 striking at the rate of over 135. Scores of 38 by Steven Smith and 34 by Rahul Tripathi sealed the game for the Royals.
RCB are struggling. The team with so many superstars is not able to find the players suitable for the various positions in the batting order. With no win under their belt, RCB had a good chance of toppling RR to get their first win. However, failure to put enough runs on the board meant they were one good partnership away from losing the game, which they eventually did by 7 wickets. RCB are lying at the bottom of the table and look hopeless at this moment. Another loss and they should consider themselves out of the tournament.
Losing the toss batting first, RCB openers Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel, provided a very good start. Kolhi was slow to his 23 but it looked he is setting up the base to launch from. But Gopal cut his plan short and then removed some other superstars in the batting order to put RCB on the backfoot. RCB went into a shell after that even though Patel kept striking at one end. Marcus Stoinis must be disappointed with his knock as he remained not-out till the end but could not score as the pace needed.
Defending 158 was never going to be easy and once RR openers post 60 run partnership the game looked lost for RCB. Chahal and Siraj tried their best to delay the inevitable. They succeeded in just that as RCB lost in the final over the RR innings with 7 wickets to go.
Parthiv Patel held the innings well and scored 67 for RCB at the strike rate of above 160. Sadly that was the only innings worthy of T20 from RCB. Next highest was Stoinis’ run-a-ball 31 who was too slow even at death. Yuzwendra Chahal bowled a terrific spell of 2 for 17 in 4 overs. Mohammed Siraj took 1 for 25 to delay the inevitable whereas the rest of the bowlers went for more than 8 an over.
Rajasthan Royals must be thrilled with their first win and must be looking forward to the duel against Kolkata Knight Riders at home on April 7. Rajasthan Royals will take heart from the fact they beat a team with multiple superstars. However, they should remember the abysmal form RCB as a team is going through before reading too much into this win.
What must RCB do get their campaign on track? They must look to win each game now without worrying about making it to the playoffs. They will be up against KKR in their next match at home on 5th April. The RCB fans hope to see some fight from Virat’s men.
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