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Siraj Regains His Mojo

May 05, 2024 08:40 IST
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IMAGE: RCB bowlers fired in unison as the hosts picked up a four wicket win over GT. Photographs: BCCI

He has been off-colour for half the season, but the Indian selectors backed Mohammed Siraj, picking him for the T20 World Cup. And the Royal Challengers Bengaluru pacer proved his worth with a match-winning spell for the hosts against Gujarat Titans on Saturday, April 4, 2024.

Playing in a must-win contest, the RCB quicks fired in unison to bowl out the Titans for just 147. The GT bowlers put up a late fight after RCB's record Powerplay outing.

A look at the best spells of the contest at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.


Mohammed Siraj

India's first match at the T20 World Cup is exactly a month away and Siraj is getting back into the groove just in time.

With the IPL 2024 season heading towards its business end, and RCB finding themselves in a must-win situation, Siraj put up a stellar show with the ball in front of home fans.

Sharing the new ball with Swapnil Singh, Siraj handed the hosts an incredible start. A short of length delivery pitching outside off saw Wriddhiman Saha hand Dinesh Karthik an easy catch behind the stumps. This was the fourth time in seven innings that Siraj has picked up Saha.

Siraj got off to an excellent start conceding just two runs and picking up a wicket in his first over.

Siraj bowled his next over in the Powerplay and this time he picked up the big wicket of Shubman Gill, with the GT skipper departing for just 2 off 7. Conceding just seven runs, Siraj turned in sizzling figures of 2/9 from his two overs in the Powerplay.

This was the first time this season that Siraj has picked up more than one wicket in the Powerplay. Conceding 9 and 11 in his next two overs, Siraj turned in figures of 2/29 from his spell.

Siraj's sizzling Powerplay show saw him adjudged the Player-of-the-Match.

Yash Dayal

In a season where the RCB bowlers have put up a dismal show, Yash Dayal has been their leading wicket-taker. With his two wicket haul on Saturday, Dayal took his wicket count to ten.

Coming into the attack in the third over, Dayal kept the pressure on the Titans with two tidy overs in the Powerplay, conceding just eight from both overs.

Dayal came back into the attack in the 18th over and got onto the wicket-takers' list. An excellent delivery saw Dayal knocking back the leg stump to end Rashid Khan's knock.

With the Afghan all-rounder threatening to add the final flourish, Dayal mixed up his pace, bowling a yorker on leg stump. Trying to hit it towards the leg side, Rashid exposed his middle and leg stump for the ball to crash into it.

Dayal picked up another big one in the same over. Rahul Tewatia, who was playing an important cameo for the Titans, became Dayal's next scalp. Looking to pull the short delivery, Tewatia top-edged it to Vyshak at deep third man, who picked up a stunning catch. Dayal turned in figures of 2 for 21 to restrict the visitors to an underpar total.

Vijaykumar Vyshak

Vijaykumar Vyshak came into the attack at the end of the Powerplay, with GT struggling at 23/3. Vyshak started off with an expensive over, conceding 11 runs. Vyshak put up an much improved show in his next over conceding just four runs, with Virat Kohli running out the set Shahrukh Khan.

Vyshak saved his best for the last. Bowling the 20th over, Vyshak bowled just three balls, but it was the most eventful over, with GT losing three wickets on the trot.

His first one, a short ball outside off, Vyshak took the pace off and Manav Suthar looking to hit it over the ropes, lacked power as Swapnil Singh picked him up at deep point to give Vyshak his first wicket of the night.

On his second ball, a terrible mix-up saw Mohit Sharma being run out.

With Titans losing two wickets in the first two balls, the pressure was on the visitors. Vijay Shankar became Vyshak's final victim of the night.

Another short pitched ball and Shankar, coming down the track, ended with getting a top edge to Siraj, who picked it up after a fumble at short third.

Josh Little

The Titans bowlers had a nightmarish outing with RCB plundering 92 runs for the first wicket off just 35 deliveries.

After Kohli hammered Mohit Sharma for two sixes in the first over, Josh Little was at the receiving end of a Faf du Plessis masterclass, leaking 20 runs in his first over.

In the final over of the Powerplay, du Plessis continued in the same vein, hammering Little for 14 runs off the first four deliveries. The Irish cricketer bounced back to hand the Titans a massive breakthrough to trigger a collapse.

Du Plessis, who brought up his half-century off just 18 balls, hurried into the bouncer from the Irishman and ended up giving Shahrukh Khan an easy catch.

In his next over, Little picked up two more wickets to jolt the RCB line-up.

After dismissing Rajat Patidar for just 2 on the third delivery of the 8th over, Little picked up his third wicket of the evening in the same over, sending back the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell. The Aussie all-rounder has been off-colour, but after getting off the mark with a boundary off Little, Maxwell fell to the Irish bowler's short delivery.

Playing in his first match of the season, Maxwell's scalp saw Little pick up a three wicket haul. But he wasn't done just yet.

Little continued to trouble the Challengers as he picked up his fourth wicket in his final over. Little, who was taken to the cleaners by du Plessis in the Powerplay, walked away with a four wicket haul, turning in figures of 4/45.

Noor Ahmad

After RCB's rampaging start, Noor Ahmad came into the attack at the end of the Powerplay. With the hosts needing 56 from 84 in the end, it was RCB's game to lose. And the GT bowlers ensured they put up a fight.

After being welcomed with a boundary by Virat Kohli, Noor struck in his first over to dismiss Will Jacks. Jacks missed the googly and miscued it to Shahrukh Khan at long on.

Noor conceded eight runs and picked up a wicket in his first over. Noor followed it up with an excellent over as he conceded just 1 run in his next, making RCB work for the win.

In his next over, bowling the 11th, Noor silenced the Bengaluru crowd as he picked up Virat Kohli, with the star batter nicking the ball to Saha.

In his final over, Noor was smashed for back-to-back boundaries by Swapnil Singh as the Chinnaswamy found its voice again. But Noor's 2/23 saw fear creep into the home side.


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