Sarfaraz Khan's audacious stroke-play after AB de Villiers' stylish half-century went in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were forced to share points with Rajasthan Royals in their IPL cricket encounter after heavy rains led to the match being called off.
Batting first, RCB piled up a healthy 200 for seven but just before the Rajasthan Royals were about to begin their chase, it started drizzling and then turned into a steady downpour as the match was eventually called off at 11:35pm (IST) in Bengaluru.
The teams split the points as the Royals stayed at second position with 12 points from 9 games while RCB were in third place with seven points from 7 games.
Courtesy De Villiers' 45-ball 57 that consolidated the innings and IPL's youngest player Sarfaraz's brilliant unbeaten 45 off 21 balls, RCB went on to put up a huge total. This was despite losing their premier players Chris Gayle (10) and Virat Kohli (1) departed with less than 20 runs on the board.While De Villiers hit nine fours and a six, the man who stole the show was stocky 17-year-old Sarfaraz from Mumbai. He played some amazing strokes, including the upper cut off Shane Watson, the lofted six off Praveen Tambe, a Dil-scoop off Dhawal Kulkarni as he smashed six fours and a six.
The first over bowled by Tim Southee had a lot of drama in it as he got the dangerous Gayle, who had hit him for a boundary and a straight six. It was an in-swinger from Southee which the left-handed batsman flicked straight at Deepak Hooda's throat at square leg.
In Southee's next over, skipper Kohli fished at an away going delivery to be caught by Sanju Samson as RCB were in trouble at 19 for two.
But then De Villiers joined forces with young Mandeep Singh as they launched a counter-attack that yielded 74 runs in 8.5 overs.
In the fifth over, the floodgates opened as De Villiers hit James Faulkner for three successive boundaries. The first was an on-drive, followed by one past fine leg and then an off-drive. When Praveen Tambe came in, De Villiers was quick to sweep him and then punch him through covers for good measure.
Mandeep also played a cheeky innings as they started adding runs at a fair clip.
Mandeep was finally out leg-before for 27 when he tried to play the scoop over short fine leg and was hit on the backfoot off a fullish delivery from Stuart Binny.
De Villiers, however, pulled Binny in the same over for a big six to complete his half-century. But a misunderstanding with Dinesh Karthik saw him run out.
Karthik (27 off 18 balls) paid for his ill-judged attempt for a second run as his innings promised a lot but did very little in the end.
But it was young Sarafaraz who stole the limelight with some attractive shots as the home team reached 200 for seven.