IPL 2018: Virat Kohli's fastest fifty not enough and other talking points as Rajasthan Royals defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore

Ashish Peter 15/04/2018
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Kohli scored a 26-ball fifty in defeat. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Bowlers from both sides were put under intense pressure Rajasthan Royals scripted a 19-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in theirIPL clash at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Batting first, the Rajasthan Royals amassed 217-4, thanks to a breathtaking knock from Sanju Samson who hit 92 off 45 deliveries with two boundaries and 10 sixes. The Royal Challengers put up a fight but finished on 198-6 as they fell to a second defeat in three matches.

Here, we look at the key talking points from a high-scoring clash.

SAMSON GOES BERSERK

The Royal Challengers had started well with the ball as D’Arcy Short fell cheaply for the third consecutive innings . What followed was utter mayhem as Samson walked out to the crease. The 23-year-old only dealt in sixes as he tore apart the RCB bowling unit with clean hits across the park.

He raced away to fifty without hitting a single boundary and it was not until the 19th over that Samson registered his first four of the innings. By that time, he had already carted eight sixes around the Chinnaswamy Stadium, a new IPL record. The right-handed batsmen smashed five sixes and two boundaries off his last eight deliveries as he finished unbeaten on 92.

KOHLI FIGHTS FIRE WITH FIRE

After Samson’s whirlwind innings, RCB skipper Virat Kohli was not going to be left behind. With Brendon McCullum falling in the first over of the chase, Kohli took it upon himself to drive the hosts’ reply.

Kohli found the gaps with a mix of orthodox cricketing shots and a few wild slogs. Keeping Bangalore close to the asking-rate, Kohli raced away to fifty off just 26 deliveries. This was the fastest of Kohli’s 33 half-centuries in the IPL.

The skipper was looking in imperious touch and was threatening to take the game away from the Royals single-handedly before being caught on the boundary ropes off Shreyas Gopal for 57 (30).

AB DE VILLIERS FAILS TO MAKE MOST OF REPRIEVE

With 217 to defend, Rajasthan Royals knew the wickets of Kohli and AB de Villiers should settle the affair. While Kohli got off to a flier, De Villiers looked scratchy at the start.

The South African was batting on two runs when he charged at Royals’ spinner Shreyas Gopal in the ninth over. Gopal bowled a googly, deceiving the batsman in the air and beating his inside edge. However, Jos Buttler failed to collect the ball with De Villiers stranded some way down the pitch.

Luckily for the Royals, the Proteas batsman did not do too much damage as he was dismissed by the very same bowler. A half-tracker down the leg side proved to be De Villiers’ downfall as he smashed the ball straight into the hands of Jaydev Unadkat at deep square-leg.

That didn’t matter to Gopal, who is a local boy, as he took a celebratory lap around the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

SUNDAR AND MANDEEP FIGHT BACK

With the fall of De Villiers’ wicket, the Royals were within touching distance of victory. However, a half-century stand for the sixth wicket between Washington Sundar and Mandeep Singh gave Bangalore a glimmer of hope.

Sundar especially looked extremely good. The two found boundaries towards the end as panic started to set in in the Royals camp.

The duo bought the equation down to 38 off 10 balls before Sundar was bowled off a full-toss by Ben Stokes. Nevertheless, those late runs will come in handy for the Royal Challengers if net run rate comes into play towards the end of the league phase.

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Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina posts image of his recovery from calf injury

Sudhir Gupta 15/04/2018
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Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina is trying his best to recover in time so that he can get back on the field in IPL 2018.

The left-handed batsman was advised rest after picking up a calf injury and missed Sunday’s match against Kings XI Punjab while also being ruled out of Friday’s game against Rajasthan Royals.

Raina posted an image of his recovery process in Instagram. In it, the 31-year-old was pictured using Recovery Pump to get his injured muscles back to peak condition as soon as possible.

The apparatus is used by athletes the world over to aid recovery process, especially after injuries. The device inflates sequentially from the toes toward the torso, mimicking natural movement in legs during exercise.

Recovery on process 🤞🤟

A post shared by Suresh Raina (@sureshraina3) on

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IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson sets IPL record in six-fest against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Ashish Peter 15/04/2018
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Samson was on fire against the Royal Challengers. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson is probably in the form of his life given how he has started the 2018 edition of the IPL.

The Kerala-born Samson smashed his first half-century of the campaign as Rajasthan Royals put up a massive 217-4 in their 20 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

Arriving at the crease at the fall of opener D’Arcy Short’s wicket, the youngster found his zone quickly.

The right-hander smashed eight sixes against Virat Kohli’s men at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru before hitting his first boundary. That stat itself tells you all you need to know about the kind of innings Samson played.

Notching up 71 runs before finding his first boundary, Samson broke the record previously held by Nitish Rana of scoring the most runs (62) without hitting a single four.

The 23-year-old remained unbeaten on 92 from just 45 deliveries as he finished off the Royals innings with two straight sixes from the final three balls from Umesh Yadav. By the end of his innings, Samson had hit 10 sixes and just two boundaries. His first boundary came in the penultimate over. In his last eight deliveries, Samson struck five sixes, two boundaries and a single.

Such was the nature of his knock that Kohli and AB de Villiers applauded him as he walked off the pitch. It has been a dream start to this year’s IPL for Samson who scored a fine 49 in the first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad before scoring 37 in the win against Delhi Daredevils.

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