ROYALS YOUNGSTERS SHINE IN VIJAY HAZARE AND D'ARCY SHORT POWERS AUSSIES TO RECORD T20I WIN AND TO VICTORY IN THE TRANS TASMAN T20I SERIES
Several RR youngsters have shown great potential in the ongoing Vijay Hazare tournament, which offers them a platform to showcase their talent on-field and making inroads into the senior Indian team. While all these youngsters strive hard to fulfil those dreams, their strong performances in the tournament will make them a compelling force for the Royals in the upcoming IPL season.
RR youngster Prashant Chopra smashed 150 off 149 balls to help Himachal Pradesh beat Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Chopra's blistering innings was laced with 22 boundaries and two sixes. Previously a part of the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup champion India Team, Chopra holds the record of most runs by a Himachal Pradesh batsman in a Ranji Trophy season.
Earlier in the tournament, Maharashtra skipper Rahul Tripathi's 125-run knock crushed last year's runners-up Bengal by seven wickets. Tripathi's magnificent 102–ball maiden List A century included 12 fours and four sixes. Tripathi unleashed some magnificent strokes as he anchored the innings forming partnerships worth 80, 42 and 107 with Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ankit Bawne and Naushad Shaikh respectively following 65-run platform laid by openers. Known for being a technically gifted batsman, Tripathi would like to carry forward his good form in the upcoming IPL season.
Karnataka players Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham played breezy knocks of 25 (18b) and 47 (20b) to propel their side to a final score to 353/6 against Odisha. The duo also had a decent outing with the ball, with Shreyas picking up 7 wickets in 3 matches with best bowling figures of 3/30 against Baroda. On the other hand, Gowtham has 6 wickets to his name, with figures of 4/42 against Baroda. Gowtham has a good T20 record, having bagged 20 wickets in 27 matches at an economy rate of 7.06. He is also a more than handy hitter lower down the order, as suggested by his strike rate of 159.79, including two half-centuries. He has scored 579 runs at an average of 28.95 in T20 cricket.
Rajasthan’s Mahipal Lomror has also displayed magnificent form in the current tournament. The allrounder has notched 246-runs at an average of 49.20 with his highest knock of 81 coming against Mumbai. He has also picked 4 wickets at an economy rate of 5.05.
Other youngsters like Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma, Sudhesan Midhun, Sanju Samson have all shown fine form in the tournament.
The tournament, which will enter the semi-final stage tomorrow (Feb 23rd), will see RR’s Shreyas Gopal (Karnataka) and Krishnappa Gowtham (Karnataka) battle it out with Rahul Tripathi (Maharashtra) to reach the coveted final and hopefully claim the trophy.
Across the continent, RR’s D'Arcy Short is stealing the headlines after powering the Aussies to record run chase against New Zealand. Short, who anchored the Australian batting order, scored 76 from 44 balls as the Australians chased down the target with seven deliveries remaining.
Furthermore, just yesterday (Feb 22nd), Short led Australia to victory in the final of the Trans Tasman T20I Series, scoring 50 runs off just 30 balls! Given the form he displayed for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, the 27-year-old will potentially be one of the biggest stars in the IPL.
D'Arcy was an unstoppable force for the Hobart Hurricanes as he notched-up 572 runs to become the tournament’s leading run scorer and set a new league record for the highest individual score with a blazing unbeaten 69-ball century at the Gabba. He also smashed 53 fours and a record 26 sixes in the tournament, which saw him grab the player of the tournament honours.