Samson brings down the house at Jaipur
Another away game was won by a home team in the sixth edition of the IPL, Rajasthan Royals winning their match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 4 wickets at Jaipur on Monday evening.
Rahul Dravid won the toss and chose to bat first. The reason he chose to do so was apparent when Rajasthan’s bowlers targeted Chris Gayle repeatedly with short pitched bowling, inspired by Mumbai’s tactics on the weekend. For his part, Gayle showed he had worked on facing short stuff and dispatched RR’s bowlers all over the ground in his brief but lethal stay in the middle, smashing 34 off 16b (6x4 1x6).
Rajasthan’s bowlers kept their lines tight to apply pressure on RCB batsmen, waiting for mistakes. Sure enough, RCB went through a 6 over stretch without a boundary after Gayle’s dismissal.
In between, on his RCB debut, Abhinav Mukund couldn’t find fluency and lugged along for 21 off 19b before he chopped one on to his stumps off Siddharth Trivedi.
AB de Villiers broke the boundary drought in the eleventh over. Two more fours came off that over from Ajit Chandila but AB (21 13b 3x4 0x6) was out caught by the fielder at point off a short and wide delivery from Sreesanth just when the 33 run 3rd wicket partnership with Kohli was beginning to look dangerous.
The theme was common with RCB batsmen through the game. Virat Kohli (32 35b 3x4 0x6) and Moises Henriques (22 19b 2x4 1x6) were the other batsmen who could not convert their starts into bigger knocks. Shane Watson found success with the ball, bowling his full quota for excellent figures of 3/22.
Vinay Kumar (22* 6b 3x6) smashed the otherwise excellent James Faulkner for 22 runs in the final over of the innings, helping RCB reach 171/6 after their 20 overs.
Ravi Rampaul had no trouble getting Ajinkya Rahane out cheap but Rahul Dravid and Sanju Samson’s 27 run partnership was a precursor of what was to come. Samson had been aggressive right from the start, picking out Vinay Kumar and Murali Kartik to get boundaries in bursts. After Dravid’s dismissal off Henriques (1/6) and with another big hitter in Shane Watson for company, a third wicket partnership worth 68 came off just 46 deliveries.
RCB had a poor day in the field as well. Rahul Dravid was dropped off the first ball of the innings, Sanju Samson when he was on 12 and another chance landed short of Henriques when he was on 39. Samson went on to make 63 (41b 7x4 2x6), putting RR ahead before Rampaul (2/28) had him caught at point.
Watson (41 31b 3x4 1x6) and Brad Hodge hurried up with ease after that, adding 46 off just 4.1 overs for the fourth wicket before the former managed to top-edge a delivery from RP Singh (1/35) and was caught by AB de Villiers.
RR needed 6 off the last over but Vinay (1/39) created drama, bowling Brad Hodge (32 18b 1x4 2x6) off the second ball. Owais Shah was run out coming back for a second run off the next ball thanks to a superb collect and throw from Virat Kohli running in from long on. Faulkner managed to dig out a Yorker next ball, taking a single. Stuart Binny pulled the next ball to deep midwicket where a diving fielder failed to stop it, giving Rajasthan a four to win the match by 4 wickets.
Sanju Samson was awarded Man of the Match for his enterprising knock.