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Turning Point: Gowtham's Royal knock

April 23, 2018 11:12 IST

Krishnappa Gowtham

IMAGE: Krishnappa Gowtham hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Rajasthan Royals fought off some tough competition to bag Krishnappa Gowtham for Rs 6.2 crore/Rs 62 million after he started with a base price of Rs 20 lakh/Rs 2 million.

And the Karnataka off-spinner justified that trust on Sunday, April 22, when he played a match-winning innings to help his team snatch victory from certain defeat against the Mumbai Indians in Jaipur.

Rajasthan were all but out of the game after Jasprit Bumrah's double strike in the 17th over. Bumrah claimed the big wickets of Sanju Samson (52) and Jos Buttler (6), leaving the hosts the difficult task of getting 43 runs from the last 3 overs with 5 wickets in hand.

It got worse for the Royals when Mustafizur Rahman dismissed Heinrich Klaasen in the next over, but Gowtham was not willing to give up without a fight.

He hit Mustafizur for a six and a boundary in the over.

 

Krishnappa Gowtham

IMAGE: Krishnappa Gowtham celebrates the Rajasthan Royals victory. Photograph: BCCI

In the next over, the 19th, he took the attack to Bumrah, hitting the Mumbai Indians' premier strike bowler for two boundaries.

Bumrah went for 18 and the Royals had to score 10 from the final over.

Hardik Pandya dismissed Jofra Archer off his first ball, but Gowtham made sure to bag the strike when the catch was being taken.

Hardik's second ball was steered over short third man for a four, then Gowtham turned down a single off the next ball.

And rightly so.

With 6 needed from 3 balls for a win, Gowtham pulled Pandya's short ball for a six over midwicket to send Rajasthan into wild celebrations.

The Royals' 3 wicket victory, which looked impossible at one stage, was only due to Gowtham's heroics.

He scored at a strike rate of 300, smashing 33 not out from 11 balls, which included 4 fours and 2 sixes.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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