A week on from finalising the squad for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, some of the Rajasthan Royals boys have already put in performances that will make every Royals fan hopeful. A lot has been going on in the cricketing world. From the Ranji Trophy in India to the Big Bash League down under, our boys have been winning games for their respective teams. Let us check out some of the best performances by the Royals in the last one week –
Rahul Tripathi’s Gritty Century Against Chhattisgarh
The last few weeks have seen a new avatar of Rahul Tripathi. His form has changed for the good, and his reinvigorated approach seems to be yielding results. In his latest innings for Maharashtra, Tripathi showed immense grit and determination to help his team crawl out of a hopeless situation. Batting first, Maharashtra got off to the worst possible start as they capitulated against some disciplined bowling by the Chattisgarh bowlers. They went from 36-0 to 91-7 in the space of 21 overs. Rahul Tripathi, looked solid at the crease, but it seemed like he would run out of partners at the other end. Thankfully for him and Maharashtra, Anupam Sanklecha provided some much-needed resistance. The duo put on a partnership of 108 runs, in which Tripathi took the lead. It was Tripathi’s solid innings of 102 runs that ensured Maharashtra got to a score which gave the bowlers something to play with. His assured batting and calmness under pressure was the hallmark of the innings. These virtues could prove to be an asset when he wears the blue of the Royals in a few months’ time.
Mahipal Lomror Plays a Captain’s Knock
Mahipal Lomror has taken to captaincy like a fish to water. The added responsibility seems to bring out the best in him. His tactical brilliance and clever change of bowling helped his team dismiss the visiting Haryana batsmen for a paltry score of 118. Later, when he came out to bat, he ensured that his team did not take their foot off the gas. A superb partnership of 120 runs with Chetan Bist meant that not only were Rajasthan able to surpass Haryana’s score, but also get a massive lead of 372 runs after the completion of the first innings. This was Lomror’s second century in the last 4 innings. His promotion to number 3 in the batting order seems to be paying rich dividends. We hope our boy from Rajasthan continues his rich vein of form and carry it to the IPL.
Ashton Turner Turning it on for Perth Scorchers
The T20 format is just not slam-bam cricket all the time. At times there is a need to construct and stabilise an innings. This usually is expected from middle-order batsmen who are capable of curbing their natural game to suit the situation of the game. Royals’ new recruit Ashton Turner produced a perfect example of versatility by producing an uncharacteristic innings to give the Perth Scorchers some sort of respectability in their chase. He came into bat when his side was reeling at 9/3, and showed tremendous maturity and adaptability to rebuild the innings with Hilton Cartwright. Turner, known to be big-hitter with a strike-rate well in excess of 150, curbed his natural game and picked up singles and couples during the initial phase of the innings. At one stage, it looked like he would be able to take his side home. Unfortunately for him and the Perth Scorchers, he was dismissed for 49, thus ending any hope of an unlikely victory. However, this performance did assure the Royals fans that we can count on somebody, should the top-order fail.
Jos Buttler blasts Thunder to Big Bash victory
Buttler smashed a quick-fire fifty to help Sydney Thunder to a conclusive 21-run Big Bash victory over Sydney Sixers at Spotless Stadium. Buttler was outstanding as he thumped 63 from 37 balls, cracking six fours and three sixes, to give the Thunders a strong platform. The Royals fans will surely be hoping for Buttler to carry on his this fine form into the new year as well as the upcoming IPL season.
Unadkat Breaks Mumbai’s Momentum
The Mumbai versus Saurashtra contest saw Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat win the toss and elect to bowl first. However, a strong start by the Mumbai top-order saw the hosts reach 174 for no loss. At this stage, questions were being raised about the decision to bowl first. This was when Unadkat raised his game to bring his team back in to the match by getting the first wicket and creating pressure from one end. Unadkat’s dismissal of Vilas Auti, opened the gates for Saurashtra, as they picked up 5 wickets for less than 50 runs. Just as it looked like Shivam Dube was guiding Mumbai to a score in excess of 400, Unadkat struck again removing him for 39. Unadkat then did not allow the Mumbai tail to wag as he dismissed tail-enders Tanush Kotian and Minad Manjrekar for next to nothing. This helped Saurashtra stay in the game and make it a close encounter.