In a completely one-sided affair, Rajasthan Royals fell to a crushing 9-wicket defeat at the hands of reigning champions Gujarat Titans.
The two sides entered the match on the back of losses. But it was Titans who pulled off a massive win to continue their dominating run this season as Royals remained in the middle of the table.
On Friday, Rajasthan’s innings derailed just like their season is currently going off track.
The Royals began their season on a smashing note, holding onto the top position in the initial stages. But in their last five games, the inaugural season's champion has come undone with Sanju Samson’s side losing four of their last five matches.
With the tournament reaching its business end and a cluster of sides fighting in the top half, Friday’s loss was a big blow for the Royals.
Playing in front of their home crowd, Royals skipper Sanju Samson opted to bat first. While speaking at the toss, Samson on being asked about the pitch, had said, “Difficult to make out the pitch”. And batting first, the way the Royals innings panned out, it indeed looked like the home side were clueless against the visitors.
Though, as has been the story, Yashasvi Jaiswal handed the hosts a strong start. Despite Jos Buttler falling in the second over, the young Jaiswal, who has been setting the stage on fire with his explosive knocks, kept the scoreboard ticking. Following Buttler’s dismissal, the youngster was joined by skipper Sanju Samson.
The pair added a quickfire 36 off 21 for the second wicket. Jaiswal was looking dangerous and threatened to take the Titans bowlers once again to the cleaners.
The two were in sync taking control of the Powerplay, before a horrible mix-up in the middle saw the Royals collapse.
In the final over of the Powerplay, Rashid Khan came into the attack. On the very first delivery, Samson tried to guide it past backward point but Abhinav Manohar pulled off a stunning stop.
But Jaiswal had already started down the track from the non-striker’s end. The opener was almost three-fourths down the track when he realised Samson had not moved. Manohar meanwhile had directed the throw to Mohit Sharma at short third. Mohit’s throw to Rashid saw the Afghan spinner calmly take the bails off as Jaiswal was still way short of his crease.
With his promising start halted on the tracks, it saw the home team suffer a Royal collapse.
This was the first time Jaiswal has been runout in the IPL and it came at the cost of his side unravelling.
From cruising at 47/1 in five overs, Rajasthan Royals folded up like a pack of cards with the Afghan spin duo ripping through the line-up. With Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed sharing five wickets between them, the home team was bowled out for 118 in 17.5 overs.
Thereon, it was a walk in the park for the Titans as they chased it down with 37 balls to spare. Following the win, the defending champions have one foot in the playoffs.