Royal Challengers Bangalore 179 for 3 (de Villiers 55*, Kohli 43, Padikkal 35) beat Rajasthan Royals 177 for 6 (Smith 57, Uthappa 41, Morris 4-26, Chahal 2-34) by seven wickets
Having AB de Villiers in your line-up is like having a cheat code in a videogame. Take him away, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore were very much second best to the Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, with all their other batsmen struggling to find the boundary on a slow pitch, in a chase of 178. Take him away, however, is exactly what the Royals couldn’t do.
De Villiers arrived with the Royal Challengers needing 76 from 42, which became 76 from 41 when Virat Kohli departed. Gurkeerat Singh would be on strike for 17 of those 41 balls, and score just 19 off them.
But even with all these layers of difficulty added to his task, de Villiers pulled it off, and made it look easy, with just a bit of help from the Royals’ tactics. With the equation coming down to 35 off 12, they left their best bowler, Jofra Archer, for the 20th over rather than use him in the 19th as most teams would have.
De Villiers hit Jaydev Unadkat for 6, 6, 6 off the first three balls of that 19th over, and the game was pretty much in the bag. He finished unbeaten on 55 off 22, having hit six sixes – one more than the Royals managed in their entire innings – and the Royal Challengers won with two balls to spare.
Uthappa turns back the clock
Robin Uthappa has always been at his best as a top-order batsman. Before today, he had an average of 29.81 and a strike rate of 133.47 from 121 IPL innings in the top three, as against 24.45 and 119.68 in 55 innings lower down. And yet, he’d batted down the order in all of his matches this season, until today, when the Royals shuffled their line-up once again. Having tried four opening combinations already this season, they now went to Uthappa, in his preferred position, alongside Ben Stokes.
Having struggled for fluency all season, Uthappa found it, making full use of the powerplay field restrictions. He used the crease excellently to pick up four fours in the third over of the match – a drive past mid-off and three sweeps or swipes over backward square leg – when Washington Sundar bowled with long-on and deep midwicket as his two boundary fielders. In the next over, he hit the medium-fast Isuru Udana for a four and a six over mid-on – another favourite zone – and the Royals were up and running.
Stokes wasn’t quite as fluent, and he fell in the last over of the powerplay, off a slower bouncer from Chris Morris. Uthappa was still going strong, though, hitting Navdeep Saini for a pair of fours in the seventh over, and when Sanju Samson greeted Yuzvendra Chahal’s introduction with a massive six over midwicket – which took the score to 68 for 1 in 8.1 overs – the Royal Challengers may have wondered how they were going to stem the scoring rate.
The answer was right in front of them. Since the start of the 2018 season, there had been 12 occasions before today in which Chahal had taken a wicket in an over where he’d also been hit for at least one six. No other spinner had come close – Sunil Narine and Shreyas Gopal were a distant joint second, having done so six times each.
Chahal usually achieves this by continuing to challenge batsmen to hit him for six, and he did so again today, taking out both Uthappa and Samson in that same over, trusting in his flight, a wider line, and the long boundaries in Dubai. Samson’s wicket may have seemed like a poor choice of shot, but there was a bit of deception involved too, with the dip and the slowness of the delivery causing him to drag the ball straighter than intended, and hit the ball to long-off rather than over extra-cover.
Smith, Tewatia help set challenging target
Jos Buttler found the boundary twice in the next three overs, but Chahal, Sundar and Saini combined to give away just 17 runs from overs 12 to 14. The Royals needed someone to restore their ebbing momentum, and Steven Smith provided the boost they needed, using his movement around the crease and the deftest of hands to pick up a pair of fours off Udana and a six and another four – either side of Buttler’s dismissal – off Morris. He picked up three more fours in the 18th over, off Chahal, two via the reverse-sweep.
With Udana bowling an expensive 19th – Rahut Tewatia, who seems to enjoy batting against left-arm seam, got stuck into him – and Morris a tight 20th, the Royals posted 177 for 6.
The boundaries dry up
Through most of their chase, the Royal Challengers simply got stuck. A feature of their innings was an inability to hit fours – they only hit five in all, compared to the Royals’ 17 – and part of the reason for this was the unwillingness or inability of their top order to play the sweep, which is such a key weapon on slow pitches. Where the Royals – for whom Uthappa and Smith played the shot particularly well – picked up 25 runs off 11 balls with conventional, reverse, paddle and slog-sweeps against the spinners, the Royal Challengers only picked up three runs, off two balls.
Devdutt Padikkal struggled to 35 off 37 balls, with only two boundaries, while Kohli struggled for fluency but muscled a pair of sixes in scoring 43 off 32. By the time de Villiers came to the crease, the Royal Challengers’ required rate had climbed from 8.9 at the start of their chase to 10.9 at the 13-over mark.
De Villiers takes over
Tom Moody and Ajit Agarkar look back at Bengaluru’s win over Rajasthan
De Villiers’ arrival didn’t change the game immediately. The Royal Challengers didn’t hit a boundary in his first 15 balls at the crease, partly because Gurkeerat was on strike for six of them, and partly because Kartik Tyagi, Shreyas Gopal – who had dismissed de Villiers four times in five meetings before today – and Archer weren’t that easy to get away.
Then Archer bowled a rare short ball that didn’t get up to an uncomfortable height, and de Villiers was away with a six swatted over the square leg boundary. Even that didn’t fully open the floodgates, with Unadkat and Tyagi managing to keep Gurkeerat on strike for seven balls in the 17th and 18th overs.
This left the Royal Challengers needing 35 off 12. Teams now overwhelmingly use their best death bowler in the 19th over while defending totals, with the idea that they’ll make the equation even harder for the chasing team by the time the final over begins. By that logic, Archer should have bowled, but Smith, the Royals captain, went with Unadkat, reckoning that his slower balls would be harder to muscle over the leg side with the longer boundary in that direction.
It might have worked on another day, and against another batsman, but de Villiers, who sets up better at the crease against the slower ball than anyone else on the planet, went 6, 6, 6 – over the longer boundary each time – off the first three balls of Unadkat’s over. Another six over midwicket, off Archer in the final over, completed the job and moved de Villiers past 50 for the fourth time in the season.
BBL 2020-21 – Jason Roy signing provides Perth Scorchers with opening riches
Jason Roy has become the latest England player to sign for the upcoming BBL after joining the Perth Scorchers.
He will link up with Liam Livingstone and it provides the Scorchers with enviable top-order options after last year’s opening pair of Livingstone and Josh Inglis became one of the most destructive in the league.
Roy follows England team-mate Dawid Malan (Hobart Hurricanes) in securing a BBL deal in recent days while Tom Banton (Brisbane Heat) and Tom Curran (Sydney Sixers) will also be in show. Alex Hales is also returning to the Sydney Thunder.
England have a limited-overs tour to South Africa which will finish on December 9 so it remains to be seen exactly when anyone who is part of that squad will be available for their BBL teams pending quarantine requirements when they reach Australia.
“The Scorchers squad looks very strong, I’m excited to be joining the club,” Roy said. “I’ve heard the environment of the club is awesome and that it’s a place where everyone wants to help get the best out of each other.”
Roy did not have the best season for England with just 49 runs in six ODIs against Ireland and Australia. He missed the T20Is against Pakistan and Australia due to injury but did finish strongly in the T20 Blast for Surrey with three half-centuries in his last four innings.
He pulled out of his IPL deal with the Delhi Capitals in order to get himself back to full fitness.
Meanwhile, the Scorchers have also signed pace-bowling duo Cameron Gannon – who joined Western Australia from Queensland over the winter – and Joel Paris.
“Jason is a world-class performer who will bring added power and experience to our top order,” head coach Adam Voges said. “It’s great to be able to maintain a really strong WA flavour to our Scorchers squad. Both Joel and Cam bring plenty of experience and can fill a variety of roles throughout the tournament for us.”
Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, live streaming where to watch RR vs SRH, IPL 2020 7.30 PM Oct 22
Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are both near the foot of the table, but can yet qualify for the playoffs, with just two points separating them. The Royals need to win at least three of their next four games to make the cut, and coming off a big win against Chennai Super Kings, they will fancy themselves to get the two points against the Sunrisers, especially if Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Pirag can fire like they did in the reverse fixture.
The Sunrisers will be sweating on the fitness of Kane Williamson, and might be forced to swap him with Mohammad Nabi. The Sunrisers can afford to lose one of their five remaining games – they are helped by a positive net run-rate – but will want to avoid giving other teams a sniff. They haven’t won a single match chasing this season, and will be hoping to change that should the Royals bat first in Dubai on Thursday.
Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.
When does the RR vs SRH live streaming start?
The RR vs SRH live streaming will start at 7:00 PM India Time October 17, 2020.
Where is the RR vs SRH match being played?
The RR vs SRH match will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE.
On which TV channels will RR vs SRH live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will telecast the match live.
Where can one find RR vs SRH live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: RR vs SRH live
What are the likely playing XIs for today’s RR vs SRH game?
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Ben Stokes, 2 Robin Uthappa, 3 Sanju Samson (wk), 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Jos Buttler, 6 Rahul Tewatia, 7 Riyan Parag, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Ankit Rajpoot/Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Kartik Tyagi
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi/Fabian Allen/Jason Holder, 5 Priyam Garg, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Basil Thampi/Khaleel Ahmed, 11 T Natarajan
Who are the captains for today’s RR vs SRH game?
The captains for today’s game will be Steven Smith (RR) and David Warner (SRH).
Who are the umpires for RR vs SRH game?
The on-field umpires for today’s game will be Nitin Menon and Paul Reiffel. The TV umpire will be Anil Chaudhary.
Who will be the match referee for RR vs SRH game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Javagal Srinath.
All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.
Ireland, Scotland women set for international return in Spain after 14-month absence
Ireland and Scotland women will return to international cricket in November after a 14-month break, with a five-match series in Spain comprising two 50-over matches and three T20Is.
Neither side has played a full international fixture since the T20 World Cup qualifier in September 2019, with both teams missing out the main event earlier this year.
The fixtures will be held at La Manga, a resort in Murcia that has become a regular host for county clubs on pre-season tours as well as European Cricket League games. It is believed that they will be the first international fixtures to be staged in Europe in November.
Players on both sides have been involved in some cricket this summer: Ireland held an eight-match Super 50 Series, and while Scotland’s regional series was cut short by the imposition of tighter Covid-19 restrictions, their ‘A’ team also played six fixtures against English sides.
Ireland go into the series missing four players in Lara Maritz, Una Raymond-Hoey, Eimear Richardson – all awarded retainer deals this week – and the centrally contracted Mary Waldron, all of whom are in Australia.
“We’re delighted to finally see some international action return,” said Ed Joyce, Ireland’s head coach. “Our last matches were at the T20 World Cup Qualifier in Scotland last year, so this series is very welcome for all involved.
“The absence of a few of our senior players, while unfortunate, has opened up an opportunity for several young players to come in and get a taste of international touring life. I have no doubt they’ll benefit immensely from the experience, which may be crucial as we move into what will likely be a big 12 months for Irish women’s cricket.”
Steven Knox, Scotland’s head coach, said: “The squad are both delighted and excited that they will be playing an international series in Spain against Ireland this November.
“It will give the players a great opportunity to show that all the hard work they’ve done in training over the past ten months, and in the A team games that were played in August and September, will hopefully pay off against a team that are ranked above us in T20I cricket.”
Scotland’s key players will be the Bryce sisters, Sarah and Kathryn, both of whom will go into the series on the back of impressive seasons in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, where they finished as Lightning’s leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively.
Meanwhile, both nations’ men’s teams could return to action in December in the UAE. The Belfast Telegraph reported last week that a four-nation T20 tournament involving the hosts, Ireland and Scotland and one other side is due to be held before the end of the year. It is understood that discussions are still ongoing, but it is hoped the series will be ratified soon.
Ireland squad: Laura Delany (capt), Zara Craig, Rachel Delaney, Georgina Dempsey, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Rebecca Stokell
Scotland squad: Kathryn Bryce (capt), Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Sarah Bryce, Priyanaz Chatterji, Ikra Farooq, Katherine Fraser, Becky Glen, Samantha Haggo, Ailsa Lister, Abtaha Maqsood, Megan McColl, Katherine Mills, Charis Scott, Ellen Watson
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