At 11.30 PM in Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the local supporters still waited for the play to resume after the heavens opened up shortly after the Royal Challengers Bangalore finished their 20 overs. But the announcement of abandonment disappointed them because no team would want to share points after scoring 200 runs. For the past few games, RCB have been making great attempts to come back into the reckoning in IPL-8 and their bowlers have brought about the decisive difference in the last two victories. On Wednesday, they were asked to bat first and lost Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in the first three overs. But AB de Villiers held forte with help coming from Mandeep Singh and Dinesh Karthik. Unfortunately, just when the partnership between de Villiers and Karthik was maturing, the two established hitters fell as run-out victims. Regardless, Bangalore found a late mastermind in Sarfaraz Khan. The 17-year old whacked the RR bowlers in a dazzling display, which culminated in a 21-ball 45 with 6 fours and a six. With 11 runs off 8 balls coming from David Wiese, Sarfaraz ensured that Bangalore ended their innings at 200/7. It was a perfectly winnable score even against the articulate battery of the Royals but with rain washing out play and RCB’s hopes, the teams ended up sharing a point each as further play was totally ruled out.
Shane Watson won the toss for Rajasthan and he promptly put RCB in because Rajasthan Royals have the batsmen, who can chase big totals. Besides they also have bowlers, who can rock the best of the batsmen. Watson reaped immediate dividends, when he had the dangerous Chris Gayle taken in the first over after the giant West Indian hit an effortless boundary and a six. Virat Kohli looked circumspect from the beginning as he fished outside his off stump. He survived the first time against Tim Southee but nicked the next delivery to Sanju Samson, when Southee bowled an identical ball. 19/2 looked bad but RCB had AB de Villiers at the crease with Mandeep Singh. They both played their shots and by the 12th over when, RCB reached 93, Mandeep Singh missed a fuller delivery from Stuart Binny and was declared out LBW. Dinesh Karthik joined de Villiers and the two batsmen carried the score to 124, when de Villiers fell run out to an unfortunate misunderstanding with Karthik. More bad luck awaited RCB as Dinesh Karthik also got run out in trying to steal a non-existent second run after Sarfaraz Khan had played Watson to the leg-side.
When Karthik got out, RCB had reached 152/4 in the 17th over. Sarfaraz Khan was joined by David Wiese. All of a sudden sparks began flying in the Chinnaswamy stadium as Sarfaraz Khan took control of RCB’s batting. In the 18th over from Pravin Tambe, Sarfaraz blasted 17 out of 18 runs with 2 fours, a six, a single and two runs. The 19th went for 13 with David Wiese hitting two fours and a single before getting out and Sarfaraz took another four. New man Harshal Patel clouted a six on arrival in the 20th over, Sarfaraz ran twice for two runs but another run out claimed Harshal Patel. By that time RCB had reached 200/7 with Sarfaraz remaining unbeaten on 45 scored off 21 balls.
Rains came soon after even as the players waited to take the field. The steady downpour never looked like abating and the umpires called off play at 11.39 PM. The two teams shared a point each.
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