This week saw one of the fiercest cricketing rivalries being rekindled at Adelaide when Australia hosted Indian for the first of four tests of the Border-Gavaskar series. We check out how our captain courageous Ajinkya Rahane helped his team to victory.
The domestic scene was abuzz with some scintillating performances by Mahipal Lomror, Sanju Samson and Shreyas Gopal. Let us find out more about the exploits of our favourite Royals stars!
Rahane’s 2nd Innings 70 Propels India to Victory
Every time India goes abroad, a lot is expected of Ajinkya Rahane due to his fine batting record away from home. In the 1st test match against Australia at Adelaide, Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane once again showed his worth by scoring a patient 70 under trying circumstances. Coming into bat at the fall of Virat Kohli’s wicket, Rahane showed his experience to grind out an innings of substance. His composure during the initial phase was one to behold. Once he was settled at the wicket, he played his trademark drives to pacers and used his feet regularly to counter Nathan Lyon and the rough outside the right-handers off-stump. His partnership with the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara, followed by small partnerships with Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin ensured that Indians could set a target in excess of 300. The score proved just about enough to hand India an early lead in the four match series. We hope our captain continues to shine in the rest of the tour down under!
Mahipal Lomror Roars against Assam
Mahipal Lomror has looked in fine touch this Ranji season. Unfortunately for him and his fans he has not been able to capitalise on good starts to make a big one. All this changed in the Ranji encounter between Rajasthan and Assam at the home of the Royals – Sawai Mansingh Stadium at Jaipur. After bundling out Assam for a paltry score of 108 in the first innings, it was important for Rajasthan to consolidate their supremacy with the bat by posting a good score on the board. This looked doubtful when both the Rajasthan openers were dismissed cheaply. However, courtesy a majestic captain’s knock of 133 by Lomror, who was well-supported by Robin Bist and Salman Khan, Rajasthan were able to post a score of 325 in their 1st innings. This was sufficient to give the home side an innings victory. His patient 222 ball innings which consisted of 18 fours and 1 six should give him immense confidence for the rest of the season. Here is hoping the tiger from Rajasthan continues to roar loud!
Sanju Samson and Shreyas Gopal Come Good in Losing Efforts
Sanju Samson’s string of low scores came to an end as he scored a defiant 91 off 192 balls against a formidable Tamil Nadu bowling attack. Chasing a score of 368, the boys from Kerala started the innings promisingly with the score reading 157-2, with a well-set Sanju Samson and Sijomon Joseph at the crease. However, the fall of Joseph sparked a dramatic collapse which saw them being reduced to 160-6. Despite wickets falling at the other end, Samson tried to defy the odds, but it was too little too late as he ran out of partners.
Over at Rajkot, Samson’s Royals teammate Shreyas Gopal too had to face the agony of losing despite him putting in a good performance. His magical spell of 4 overs which saw him pick up three wickets for just ten runs gave Karnataka glimpses of an unlikely win after they dismissed Saurashtra for just 79 in the 2nd innings. Unfortunately, another disappointing batting performance by Karnataka was to ensue as they were bundled out for a meagre 91 runs. Gopal showed a lot of character with the bat as he stood still at the crease for 72 balls to score 27 runs. Unfortunately, none of the other batsmen showed such discipline resulting in a comprehensive defeat for the visitors. Our Royal, Gopal can, however, hold his head high after this performance!