The two teams who clashed in yesterday’s match, Rajasthan and Bangalore, were both looking for a win in this match, but their ambitions were different. With six wins in ten matches prior to this match, Bangalore had one foot in the playoffs already.
But the midfield teams are packed closely together and pulling off from the muddle would have been crucial for Virat Kohli’s men. They did just that in this match, by securing a very comfortable win by 7 wickets. With this win, Bangalore have not only increased the gap with the chasing pack, but have already, but have also uplifted what was a horrific net run rate.
As for Rajasthan, their road to qualification will be very bumpy from here onwards. They have won four out of their eleven matches, and the big margin of defeat has pushed them down to seventh place in the standings. Even if they win all of their remaining three matches, Sanju Samson’s team will need other results to work out in their favour.
Jaiswal and Lewis set up the tone for Rajasthan
The scoreboard will tell you that Rajasthan managed to put up a total of mere 149 runs, but at one stage, it seemed as if they might aim as high as 200. The two elegant left-handed openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis, got them off to a fantastic start.
Having bowled well in the last match, Kohli trusted Glenn Maxwell with the ball in the powerplay, but the plan didn’t quite work out. English pacer George Garton, who made his IPL debut, was also taken to the cleaners early on in the innings. At the end of 8 overs, Rajasthan were 71/0, looking all set to put up a gargantuan score on the board for Kohli’s boys to chase down.
Jaiswal departs, but Sanju Samson steadies the innings
Bangalore got their first breakthrough in the ninth over, when Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian picked up the wicket of Yashasvi Jaiswal. At that point, Rajasthan would have wanted the new batter to play a sensible and steady knock, with Evin Lewis going all guns blazing at the other end.
Skipper Sanju Samson did just that. He rotated the strike well, while Lewis kept on playing the big shots, eventually bringing up his half-century. At the end of 11 overs, Rajasthan were comfortably placed at 100/1.
A collapse to forget for Rajasthan
With nine wickets in hand and nine overs to be played, a bare minimum of 180 is what many would have expected. But the Rajasthan batting unit collapsed like a house of cards. George Garton, who was previously smacked by Lewis, got his revenge when he dismissed the West Indian in the 11th over.
The next two overs saw Rajasthan losing three key batters. Yuzvendra Chahal got Mahipal Lomror stumped, while Shahbaz Ahmed picked up the wickets of Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia. From 100/1, Rajasthan were now 117/5.
Yet another failure for Parag and Livingstone
With their top half sent back to the pavilion, Rajasthan had their hopes pinned on two batters who have not been in good form – Riyan Parag and Liam Livingstone. The stage was set for the duo to redeem themselves, but they failed yet again.
In the second ball of the 17th over, Chahal got the wicket of Liam Livingstone. Harshal Patel got the better of Riyan Parag in the last over of the match, and in that same over, he also picked up the wickets of Chris Morris and Chetan Sakariya.
Bangalore show positive intent from the start
With the target not being too big, Bangalore could have decided to not take risks in the initial overs and keep wickets in hand instead. However, they went for the shots from the very beginning, as in the first over of their innings, Virat Kohli hit 3 fours.
Be it Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman or the youngster Kartik Tyagi, almost every Rajasthan bowler received the same treatment from Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal. At the end of 5 overs, Bangalore were 48/0, just 102 runs away from the target.
Openers depart, but Maxwell and Bharat prevent a Rajasthan-like collapse
Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman rattled the stumps to dismiss Devdutt Padikkal, while a superb bit of fielding by Riyan Parag got Kohli out in the next over. All of a sudden, the pressure was back on Bangalore, and the new batters in Glenn Maxwell and K Srikar Bharat had to ensure they stay on the crease for long.
That they did, and in the process, they also ensured that the required run rate doesn’t touch the sky. Both batters respected the good balls but did not shy away from dispatching the poor ones for boundaries.
Srikar Bharat scored 44 runs from 35 balls, while Glenn Maxwell scored yet another half-century, this time in only 30 balls. Chris Morris was the bowler Bangalore batters fancied playing big shots against, while Rahul Tewatia was also at the receiving end of some big hits.
Bharat’s wicket provides nothing but late consolation
Srikar Bharat missed his first Indian T20 League half-century by only 6 runs, as Mustafizur Rahman got the better of him in the 16th over. In the context of the match, however, that wicket was a rather insignificant one, as Bangalore were only 23 runs shy of the total.
It did not take long for the boys in red to get over the finishing line. Maxwell scored 22 runs off Chris Morris’ 17th over, while AB de Villiers ensured the win by hitting a four in the only ball he faced in this match.