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Royals rise to the challenge

Rajasthan Royals end RCB’s remarkable run with four-wicket win

Royals rise to the challenge

Rajasthan Royals’ Ravichandran Ashwin was named the Man of the Match for his exploits against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. BCCI

Ahmedabad, May 22

Rajasthan Royals ended Royal Challengers Bengaluru's rollercoaster run in the IPL with a four-wicket win in the Eliminator here today.

After their bowlers kept RCB to 172/8, RR's batters stuttered in the middle overs to allow RCB back into the contest which remained hung in balance for the majority of the second half, but the 2008 winners eventually got home with an over to spare.

Chasing 173 to win, Rajasthan ended with 174/6 as Rovman Powell (16 not out) provided the finishing touches in a tense finish. However, it was Yashasvi Jaiswal (45 off 30) who gave them the impetus at the top.

As he has done several times before this season, Riyan Parag (36 off 26) showcased resolve in an adverse situation to help RR stay alive in the tournament. It was RR's first win after four losses and an abandoned game.

They face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Friday for a place in the IPL final.

The returning Shimron Hetmyer also played his part to perfection, scoring a crucial 26 off 14 balls.

In a contest where fortunes swung from one side to another, RR remained ahead with impactful performances throughout even though Mohammed Siraj (2/33) raised late hopes for RCB with wickets of Parag and Hetmyer in the 18th over.

Earlier, RR put forth a sharp bowling effort. Led by Trent Boult (4-0-16-1), who produced an opening spell of 3-0-6-1, their bowlers kept taking wickets at crucial stages to control the game.

The venerable Ravichandran Ashwin (4-0-19-2), having previously gone wicketless for a significant stretch, left an indelible mark with the wickets of Cameron Green (27) and Glenn Maxwell (0) on consecutive deliveries while Avesh Khan (3/44) also chipped in. — PTI

Brief scores

RCB: 172/8 in 20 overs (Patidar 34, Kohli 33, Lomror 32; Avesh 3/44, Ashwin 2/19) vs RR: 174/6 in 19 overs (Jaiswal 45, Parag 36, Hetmyer 26; Siraj 2/33)

Yuvraj wants India to make optimal use of Jaiswal & Pant

NEW DELHI: India should use Yashasvi Jaiswal as skipper Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in the T20 World Cup next month and play Rishabh Pant as the preferred wicketkeeper to ensure left-handed variety in their batting lineup, former all-rounder Yuvraj Singh said.

Virat Kohli has been in red-hot form as opener for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and is the season’s leading scorer with 708 runs from 14 matches. Yuvraj preferred harnessing left-handed Jaiswal with right-handed Rohit at the top of the batting order to be followed by Kohli.

Suryakumar Yadav, currently the top ranked T20 batter, is nearly certain to retain his No. 4 slot.

“I think Rohit and Jaiswal should definitely open,” Yuvraj, who was part of India’s victorious T20 World Cup team in 2007, told the ICC. “Virat has been batting at No. 3 (in T20Is) and that’s his position. You get Surya at four and then you got a couple of big options. I’d like to see a couple of left-hand, right-hand combinations because it is harder to bowl at two combinations all the time.” For the same reason, Yuvraj would pick Pant over Sanju Samson even though both wicketkeepers have been in great form in the IPL. “I’d probably go for Rishabh,” said Yuvraj, who is an ambassador of the June 1-29 showpiece in West Indies and the United States. Reuters

#Ahmedabad #Cricket #IPL #Rajasthan

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