12 Dec 2019
After an exhilarating first round of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, 5 Rajasthan Royals players have made it to the next round – Super League Qualifiers. Each of these 5 Royals have contributed in their respective team’s success through round 1 and can aid them in qualifying for the semi-finals later this month. A closer look at some of their performances will give us an indication of how vital they are for their teams. Shreyas Gopal: 13 wickets What a year Shreyas has been having! He has claimed 46 wickets in T20 cricket, in 2019. No other Indian bowler has claimed as many in a calendar year. In six Syed Mudhtaq Ali Trophy games, the Karnataka leggie has picked up 13 wickets that includes a magnificent 5-wicket haul against Services. Gopal had claimed a five-fer earlier in the last edition of the tournament as well, earlier this year. In Karnataka’s last game of round 1, Gopal claimed a clinical 3-fer against Goa. He is currently the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament and will be gunning for the top spot soon. Varun Aaron: 9 wickets The Jharkhand speedster has been instrumental in the team’s success with the ball in the tournament so far. His 3/17 against Nagaland was his stand-out performance. Aaron has troubled batsmen with his pace and movement regularly in domestic cricket this year. As the spearhead of Jharkhand’s attack, he will be a key cog in their wheel if they are to seal a semi-final berth. Mahipal Lomror: 105 runs The Rajasthan captain ended round 1 of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a bang. A day after his 20th birthday, Lomror smashed an unbeaten 50 off just 18 balls. He launched five balls into the stands and hit 3 fours as well. Chasing just 70 runs against Tripura, the southpaw hit the winning runs with a biggie, which helped him get to 50. The Rajasthan batting line-up has relied heavily on Mahipal’s contributions of late, and he is vital to their success. Mayank Markande: 6 wickets Rajasthan Royals’ new signing, Mayank Markande has shone sparks of brilliance in round 1 of the tournament. His 3/26 in Punjab’s second game helped them restrict Chandigarh to a paltry 131 in their 20 overs. His first scalp was fellow Royal, Manan Vohra, whom he enticed into a false shot. Markande’s will to flight the ball and a sharp googly will have him good stead to claim some more important wickets during the Super League. Rahul Tewatia: 92 runs, 2 wickets Haryana have done well as a unit in the tournament so far. Rahul Tewatia is one of the key members in the side, and he contributes with both bat & ball. In two out of the six games, Tweatiw provided the finishing touches to Haryana’s innings. Against Mumbai, his unbeaten 16-ball 29 guided them past 150. In Haryana’s last game of the round, Tewatia displayed an impeccable all-round performance. A late surge with the bat saw him blast 31 off 16 balls with 2 fours and sixes each. His blitz took Haryana beyond 200. In the second innings, Tewatia cleaned up Meghalaya’s tail by claiming 2 wickets off consecutive deliveries. Watch out for some more clean hits in the Super League. All the 5 Rajasthan Royals boys have put in match-winning performances in the first round. They will now shift their focus to contributing for their teams to help them qualify for the semi-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.