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Turning point: Rajasthan's top order flops

By HARISH KOTIAN
October 01, 2020 08:12 IST
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IMAGE: Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Pat Cummins celebrates dismissing Rajasthan Royals Captain Steve Smith. Photograph: BCCI/IPL
 

Rajasthan Royals's batsmen took the IPL by storm in their first two games. Sanju Samson and Steve Smith smashed sparkling half-centuries in the first two matches, against the Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.

Looking at their line-up, it is evident that the Royals are heavily dependent on their top 3 (including Jos Buttler). The loss of a few early wickets could pose serious question marks on the middle and lower order.

That is exactly what happened against the Kolkata Knight Riders, in the IPL match in Dubai on Wednesday, September 30.

Credit must be given to the KKR pacers, who bowled with a lot of fire with the new ball and kept chipping away at the wickets in the early overs.

Steve Smith was keen to continue his aggressive approach, but came undone against compatriot Pat Cummins, caught behind for three as he attempted a wild heave.

All eyes were on Sanju Samson to produce another batting masterclass. Samson, looking to get on top of KKR's 21-year-old pacer Shivam Mavi, attempted a pull shot but discovered that the ball came a bit too quickly and was caught at midwicket for eight.

KKR Captain Dinesh Karthik ditched the T20 tradition of swapping bowlers around with one-over or two-over spells.

Having settled into a good rhythm, Cummins and Mavi bowled three overs on the trot in their first spell and that proved crucial.

Mavi all but finished off Rajasthan's hopes by getting the dangerous Jos Buttler caught at short third man for 21 in his third over, as Rajasthan slipped to a lowly 41/3 in the seventh over.

Buttler, Smith and Samson could only manage 31 runs between them. The trio's flop show put paid to Rajasthan's run chase.

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