The covers were playing on and off but the main thing was that there was no relent from the rain. Eventually, the umpires decided it best to call the game off. Second game in succession for Rajasthan which has been called off after their game against Kolkata was abandoned a few days ago at the Eden Gardens. Catch all the highlights of the match here:
23:40 (IST): So, here comes the confirmation. Players of both the teams shake hands as the match has been called off due to persistent rain. Both teams will share one point each, meaning Rajasthan will have 12 points and Bangalore will have 7.
22:50 (IST): It’s still drizzling but the Super Sopper is at work. We will start losing overs from 23:01 IST. The cut-off time for the match to be played is 23.58 IST.
22:17: (IST): It is pouring at the M.Chinnaswamy! It looks really heavy. The covers are on the ground.
22:05 (IST): The start of second innings is delayed by rain in Bangalore. Will rain play spoilsport tonight?
21:48 (IST): That’s it! Sarfaraz Khan batted fearlessly as he slammed a 21-ball 45 not out to help Bangalore post a challenging 200 for seven. Bangalore has found a new entertainer in the 17-year-old Sarfaraz. Earlier, Ab de Villiers hit 57 off 45. Mandeep Singh and Dinesh Karthik scored 27 runs each. Tim Southee bagged two wickets while Pravin Tambe was extremely expensive – none for 39 in his three overs.
21:40 (IST): WICKET! David Wiese gone. Dhawal Kulkarni bowls a slower and keeps it a bit short. Wiese pulls it but straight to Tim Southee at deep mid wicket.
21:34 (IST): Pravin Tambe has looked off colour today. After AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan has hammered him all over the park. So far he has conceded 39 runs in his three overs without a wicket or a maiden.
21:25 (IST): WICKET! Dinesh Karthik run out for 27. Sarfaraz Khan shuffles across his stumps and gets a full toss which he whips through mid-wicket. He takes the single but Karthik comes charging for the second. Sarfaraz is not interested as he has not even taken a start. Karthik is forced to go back and Southee returns a perfect throw to the keeper who dives and disturbs the stumps. Karthik is short even with a dive.
21:10 (IST): WICKET! AB de Villiers is run out for 57. Dinesh Karthik flicks it to mid-wicket and calls for single. AB hesitates but continues to run to the danger end. Deepak Hooda keeps his cool and throws it to keeper Sanju Samson who removes bails in a flash. De Villiers puts in a dive but was well short of the crease.
20:58 (IST): FIFTY! AB de Villiers reaches his 14th IPL fifty in style. Clobbers Stuart Binny for a huge six to reach the landmark off 41 balls.
20:54 (IST): WICKET! Mandeep Singh is out for 27. Stuart Binny breaks the 74-run stand as he gets him trapped plumb in front.
20:29 (IST): AB de Villiers has taken the attack back to the bowlers. He is batting on 27 off 23 with Mandeep Singh as his partner at the other end.
20:12 (IST): WICKET! Tim Southee is enjoying his return to the playing XI. After Gayle, he gets captain Virat Kohli, who plays away from his body only to edge it to keeper. Sanju Samson dives to his right to complete the catch. RCB in trouble.
20:03 (IST): WICKET! Chris Gayle is gone and Tim Southee gets his revenge. He bowls full on middle, Gayle looks to flick but the ball swings in, takes the inside half of the bat and goes straight to Deepak Hooda at mid wicket. Gayle had hit him for four and a six earlier in the over.
19:37 (IST): TEAMS
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Dinesh Karthik, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, David Wiese, Harshal Patel, Mitchell Starc, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, James Faulkner, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe
19:33 (IST): TOSS! Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and they will bowl first against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both teams have made one change each. Tim Southee replaces Chris Morris in Royals XI, Yuzvendra Chahal comes back in RCB XI in place of Iqbal Abdulla.
Hosts Bangalore have picked themselves up from the bottom-half of the points table and are counting on momentum to further their progress. With wins against Rajasthan and Delhi Daredevils, the team has finally begun showing signs of life. Buoyed by the ruthless bowling of Mitchell Starc – three wickets each in the last two matches, the team has blunted opposition batsmen with clinical precision. The top-three batsmen – Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – have also begun combining well.
The team would be hoping for a repeat of their performance against Rajasthan in Ahmedabad. Shane Watson’s side were walloped by nine wickets in a match that greatly boosted morale in the Bangalore camp.
Rajasthan though are the most dangerous when the chips are down. And chips are indeed down. Having lost two matches on the trot, the team had to give away its top position when Chennai Super Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday. That this comes after five consecutive wins means the pain would be even more real. A team that has Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith shouldering the batting responsibility though can never be too far from a comeback.
Rahane is the leading run-getter this season while Smith has been very consistent. Captain Watson also continues to be a very real threat while young Deepak Hooda’s strike rate of 208.9 can power the team to a formidable total. The bowling department will once again revolve around Watson, James Faulkner and Pravin Tambe.
The two teams – Bangalore and Rajasthan – may not yet be level on paper but are surely equal in terms of batting and bowling firepower.