40 balls and seven dismissals! Those are Shreyas Gopal’s stats against superstars Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
In the Indian Premier League, Gopal has got the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper out thrice in 12 deliveries and has scalped AB four times in 28 deliveries. And if that wasn’t enough, the Karnataka leg-spinner topped it off by dismissing Marcus Stoinis and getting his first IPL hat-trick.
The rain gods did try and put a damper on proceedings as the scheduled 8 pm start was eventually pushed back to a 11.26 pm start with both sides getting to face five overs. The showers did return during the second innings to end RCB’s hopes of making the Playoffs.
Before the rain delay, Steve Smith won the toss and invited Kohli’s side to bat first. Three hours later, Varun Aaron ran in and delivered at full steam and BANG! Virat Kohli sent it well over the long off fence with a certain amount of disdain.
It looked like the delayed start had only fired up Kohli more as him and de Villiers plundered 23 off the first over.
Enter Gopal, who saw his first ball vanish over long on for six, the next roll over the mid-off fence and two were scored off the third. Kohli tried to clear the long on fence again and perished off the fourth delivery, AB then mistimed his shot completely and held out to Riyan Parag at extra cover. Gopal would have been delighted at getting the Kohli-AB duo again but his happiness knew no bounds when Stoinis hit the sixth delivery straight to Smith at mid-off.
The wheels came off the RCB bus thereafter as the limped from 35 for three in two to 62 for seven at the end of their innings.
Liam Livingstone and Sanju Samson then came out and went about their innings in business-like fashion and needed 22 off the last two overs. Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Samson off the second ball of the third over and that is when the skies opened up again and ended the contest.