IPL 2019, RR vs RCB: Shreyas Gopal, Jos Buttler star as Rajasthan Royals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 7 wickets
Googly! Cricket’s age old wonder ball is beautiful to watch when it deceives a batsman. A leg spinner without a proper googly in his arsenal is incomplete. But not Shreyas Gopal.
Against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gopal used the ‘wrong un’ to devastating effect and got the desired results not once but thrice! His dismissals included Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer. The most dramatic of all was the prized possession of King Kohli. A wicket that Gopal would cherish for lifetime.
Reeling under Gopal’s sensational spell (3/12), RCB could muster only 158/4. Thanks to Parthiv Patel’s 67 off 41 balls and Marcus Stoinis’s unbeaten 31, RCB were able to give something to defend to their bowlers.
Not to be left behind after Gopal had weaved his magic, Yuzvendra Chahal used his trickery too, claiming the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane with a googly.
Rajasthan Royals made a strong start scoring 61 in eight overs. Their formidable opening combination of Jos Buttler and Rahane put on 60 runs before the captain fell to Chahal, trapped leg after misreading the ‘wrong un.’
Chahal then dismissed in-form Buttler who looked solid in scoring 59, pegging back Rajasthan Royals chase. Steve Smith, coming in at No 3, looked rusty and was given a life when Umesh Yadav dropped a sitter at the fence off Chahal. Smith and Rahul Tripathi survived some anxious moments and two dropped chances before the former Australian captain was dismissed needing five off the final over.
Tripathy finished it with a pulled boundary off Umesh much to the relief of Rajasthan camp as they registered their first win of the season. RCB are now staring down the barrel with four straight losses.
It was the ‘wrong un’ that had done the trick for Rajasthan too.
Having lost the toss and invited to take the first strike, RCB brought back skipper Kohli at the top of the order to partner left-handed Patel. They were cautious against off spinner K Gowtham who began the innings and bowled a tight length. The two did enough to score 48 in six overs without losing a wicket, giving themselves a foundation to build on.
Introduced after the powerplay, Gopal straightway turned to his back-of-the-hand deception against Kohli. A big appeal followed as the ball seemed to have hit Kohli’s pad when he tried to defend the sharp incoming delivery, bringing his bat down just in the nick time to get the first brush. Gopal and captain Ajinkya Rahane took a long pause but did not go for the review, rightly.
But what came next was a stunner. A perfectly tossed up googly, pitched wide of the off-stump drew Kohli forward for his favourite drive but spun in sharply, almost breaking back from the point it landed. It found the gap between his bat and pad and dismantled his stumps.
The world’s best batsman was foxed, his defence laid shockingly shattered. The sight was enough for the home crowd to go crazy and Gopal to celebrate a la Imran Tahir, only his hands were not aloft but covered his face in disbelief. He had perfectly cashed in on whatever little weakness Kohli has showed for the ‘wrong un’ in IPL.
More drama was in store. In his next over it was the turn of AB de Villiers to fall for Gopal’s googly. The ball spun and stooped on AB who defended on the backfoot only to give the simplest of return catches to Gopal. The roar was back. Gopal couldn’t believe his fortunes. having accounted for two of the most dangerous batsmen in quick succession.
The googly was now coming out from Gopal’s hands almost every time, loaded with fizz, turn and a daring invitation to batsmen; mocking them to play at their own peril. Hetmyer was next in line as Gopal finished with figures of 3/12.
Together with off spinner K Gowtham, Gopal choked the Royal Challengers Bangalore. By the time they finished their quota, RCB was in sorts of trouble at 107/3 in 15 overs. The two had accounted for four wickets conceding just 31 runs in eight overs. On Tuesday, both Karnataka bowlers had cast their spell against their state team.