2018 was a spectacular year for cricket. It saw many records being broken and new stars being born. It was a landmark year for the Rajasthan Royals too, as we marked our return to the Indian Premier League with a top-four finish. The year ended on a high for cricket lovers in India, after India registered a memorable victory over hosts Australia, in the boxing day test match at the MCG. The Royals fans too bid goodbye to 2018 on a happy note with excellent performances by some of their players in the domestic circuit. Let us check some of the Royals who ended the year on a high!
Gowtham Spins a Web Around Railways Batsmen
Krishnappa Gowtham who has been one of the star performers at the domestic circuit in 2018, capped off a memorable year by claiming a six-wicket haul to bowl Karnataka to victory. The Railways batsmen who were chasing a massive score of 362, was never allowed to settle as Gowtham got wickets at regular intervals. After Prashant Gupta was dismissed in the second over of the innings, Saurabh Wakaskar and Nitin Bhille, provided some resistance with a solid partnership of 80 runs. However, once Wakaskar fell to a run-out, the story changed dramatically as this opened the doors for Gowtham to run riot. Gowtham quickly got rid of a well-set Nitin Bhille, and soon after that dismissed Pratham Singh for 48. Once these two set batsmen were gone, the Rajasthan Royals spin-twins of Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal (2/39) ran through the middle and lower order in the span of 10 overs, while conceding just 26 runs. Gowtham added to his tally the wickets of Manish Rao, Harsh Tyagi, and ACP Mishra to finish with figures of 6/30.
Jos Buttler on Fire in the Big Bash League
Another Royal who has enjoyed a phenomenal year in all the formats of the game is Jos Buttler. He ended the year with two smashing innings against the Sydney Sixers and the Hobart Hurricanes. Batting first in the Sydney derby, Buttler provided just the kind of start that the Thunders were looking for. He was on song from the get-go and produced an innings of 63 off just 37 balls at a strike rate of 170 — his innings comprised of 3 sixes and 6 fours. He was particularly severe on Sean Abbott, to whom he eventually fell. Buttler looked disappointed when dismissed as he looked set for a big one. Nonetheless, his innings was good enough to earn his team a victory over the Sydney Sixers.
Jos carried his good form to the next match against the Hobart Hurricanes as he unleashed an innings of utter destruction. He blasted his way to 89 off 54 balls to propel his team to a massive score of 193 at the Blundstone Arena. Jos Buttler took apart some of the best bowlers in the T20 format, like Jofra Archer, James Faulkner, and Riley Meredith as he peppered the boundary regularly with 4 sixes and 8 fours.