Gopal’s brilliant spell, followed by a 43-ball 59 from Jos Buttler, hands
Rajasthan Royals (RR) their first win of 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL)
season – against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 7 wickets – at Jaipur.
With this loss, RCB have now lost their opening four matches, while RR now have
a solitary win in four matches.
Parthiv Patel played a gem of an innings to take Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a respectable total of 158 for 4. RCB made a cautious start as they fielded their fourth new opening pair in as many matches in 2019 IPL, this time in the form of Parthiv and Virat Kohli. However, they did not lose a single wicket in the first six overs. AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer fell in quick succession, but Marcus Stoinis, playing his first game of the season, played a sensible knock and finished with 31 off 28 and Moeen Ali remained unbeaten on 18 off 9 balls. However, the day belonged to Gopal, who troubled the batsmen with every delivery and finished with outstanding figures of 3 for 12 from his 4 overs. Against RCB, he has 9 wickets overall and an economy of just 4.16.
His googlies did bulk of the damage. In fact, among leg-spinners, who have taken at least 10 wickets from googlies, he has the highest percentage (41.6) of wickets with that delivery, ahead of Imran Tahir (40%) and Rashid Khan (35%).
Among the bowlers for RCB, Yuzvendra Chahal looked like the only bowler to pick up wickets. He finished with a couple of wickets and could have added to his tally had Umesh Yadav taken a sitter in the deep. The required run-rate was within reach and the only way RCB could claw back into the game was through wickets, but despite losing Smith in the end (38), RR romped home to an easy win.
In the earlier seasons, it was their bowling that let RCB down. But now, they have reached a point where it is an all-round failure. RR will take some confidence from this game, but cannot afford rest on their laurels as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) next at Jaipur. RCB too take on KKR in their next match at Chinnaswamy.
At the beginning of the match, RR had a 44% chance of winning according to our Momentum Predictor engine in the Criclytics section of our website and at the half-way stage it increased to 47 at the end of the first innings. They were going well as their openers Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane put on a 60-run opening stand, but when the skipper was dismissed it dropped to 45%. However, Buttler carried on his fine form and until the moment he got out, RR’s win % was 72, but soon dipped to 51 as soon as he dismissed. But Smith and Tripathi took the team home eventually.
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