Faulkner, Smith ruin Yuvi show

Faulkner, Smith ruin Yuvi show

In a proverbial pulling the victory from the jaws of defeat, Rajasthan Royals scored a five-wicket win in a high-scoring thriller against Royal Challengers Bangalore here at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday.   

Chasing Royal Challengers’ massive 190 for five, Rajasthan were staring at certain defeat after slipping to 82 for four at the end of the 11th over. Steven Smith (48, 21b, 4x4, 4x6) and James Faulkner (41, 17b, 3x4, 3x6), however, shared a match-winning 33-ball 85-run stand for the unbroken sixth-wicket to script Royals’ jail-break with seven balls to spare.

With Royals needing 65 runs from the last four overs, man-of-the-match Faulkner began to turn the tide, plundering 18 runs off the 17th over by Mitchell Starc that went for a total of 21 runs. His partner Smith took an erratic Ashok Dinda to the cleaners in the next, clobbering the paceman for 23. With the equation reduced to 18 off 12, the only point of interest was if the match would drag on to the final over. Varun Aaron ensured that the proceedings will be over in five legitimate deliveries, conceding 21 runs to break the hearts of the capacity crowd that were dreaming of a home win.

However, it was opener Karun Nair’s 39-ball 56 that gave Royals the early momentum in their chase.  The sixth loss left Challengers’ hopes in jeopardy while Royals’ sixth win further strengthened their play-off chances.

One had to feel sorry for Yuvarj Singh whose brilliant all-round show (83 off 38 and 4/35) came to naught. Under intense pressure after managing a modest 144 at just over 20 in his eight previous visits to the crease, Yuvraj struck a blinder to haul Bangalore’s innings from a precarious situation before bamboozling Royals’ batsmen with his left-arm spin to bring Challengers within striking distance of their fourth win.

Desperate situations call for desperate measures and Virat Kohli walking out to open the innings along with Chris Gayle appeared to be one such move after opting to bat first. But not all desperate calls pay the desired results and as it turned out, Kohli was gone after a 9-ball struggle. Gayle was no better either.


ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Virat Kohli c Bhatia b Richardson 4, Chris Gayle c Samson b Tambe 19, Vijay Zol c Watson b Tewatia 16, AB de Villiers c Rahane b Faulkner 58, Yuvraj Singh lbw Richardson 83, Albie Morkel (not out) 1, Parthiv Patel (not out) 2. Extras (LB-2, W-5) 7. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 190.

Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Kohli), 2-38 (Gayle), 3-40 (Zol), 4-172 (Yuvraj), 5-186 (de Villiers).  
Bowling: Kane Richardson 4-0-43-2, Shane Watson 4-0-35-0 (w-3), James Faulkner 4-0-42-1 (w-1), Pravin Tambe 4-0-38-1 (w-1), Rahul Tewatia 3-0-17-1, Rajat Bhatia 1-0-13-0.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: Ajinkya Rahane c Parthiv b Chahal 24, Karun Nair b Yuvraj 56, Shane Watson b Yuvraj 1, Stuart Binny c Rossouw b Yuvraj 1, Sanju Samson c&b Yuvraj 13, Steven Smith (not out) 48, James Faulkner (not out) 41. Extras (LB-1, W-5, NB-1) 7. Total (for 5 wkts, 18.5 overs) 191.

Fall of wickets: 1-54 (Rahane), 2-61 (Watson), 3-63 (Binny), 4-82 (Samson), 5-106 (Nair). Bowling: Albie Morkel 2-0-20-0, Mitchell Starc 3-0-33-0 (w-2), Ashok Dinda 3-0-37-0 (w-1, nb-1), Varun Aaron 2.5-0-41-0 (w-2), Yuvraj Singh 4-0-35-4, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-24-1.

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