By BV Swagath
Hosts Rajasthan Royals pulled off a thrilling win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at their fortress in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. For once the Rajasthan Royals’ batting looked pretty solid and it was their batsmen who made the chase of 172 possible. The unlikely hero of the Rajasthan win was the little known Wicket Keeper batsman Sanju Samson who scored 63 from 41 balls.
RCB asked to bat first got off to a flier but lost Chris Gayle in the 4th over, edging a cut shot off Watson to the keeper. Gayle by then had scored 34 from 16 balls with 6 fours and a six. The visitors were smoothly progressing to a big total before they lost the key wickets of AB de Villiers (21 from 13 balls, caught at deep point) and Skipper Virat Kohli (32 from 35 balls, caught at long on). At 123 for 4 in 15.5 overs, RCB were in the danger of settling for a below par total had they lost few more wickets.
It was the 6-ball 22* cameo from R Vinay Kumar that did all the difference for RCB as they posted a huge total of 171 for 6. For the hosts, Watson was the pick taking 3 for 22 in 4 overs. Rajasthan Royals were slightly on the backfoot in their run chase but Sanju Samson turned things around with some lovely shots over extra covers. Samson coming in at no.3 went onto score a quick fifty to have Rajasthan Royals as favourites.
Early in the 15th over, Samson got out after a heroic knock of 63 from 41 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes. Rajasthan were in the game at this stage with 116 runs on the board in 14.2 overs. The Aussie pair of Shane Watson (41 from 31 balls with 3 fours and a six) and Brad Hodge (32 from 18 balls with a four and 2 sixes) got a crucial partnership going to leave the hosts on the brink of a victory. However, there was slight drama as the final over started with six runs to get. Stuart Binny finished the fuss though by whacking a boundary to win the game with a ball to spare. Sanju Samson got the Man of the Match award.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and asked RCB to bat first at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. RCB have omitted Dilshan and brought in Moises Henriques. For Rajasthan, Owais Shah plays his first game and he takes the place of Kevon Cooper.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid (C), Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Owais Shah, Sanju Samson (WK), James Faulkner, Ajit Chandila, S Sreesanth, Siddharth Trivedi
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Abhinav Mukund, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Moises Henriques, Saurabh Tiwary, Ravi Rampaul, Vinay Kumar, Murali Kartik, RP Singh, Jaidev Unadkat