Great platform for players like me to fulfill my dreams – Y Jaiswal after match-winning knock
With a ruthless victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, Rajasthan Royals re-ignited their IPL campaign in stunning manner, shaking off the disappointment of having only won one of their previous six games.
Two of its biggest players made significant contributions: Yashasvi Jaiswal made a two-paced surface look like a belter while scoring the IPL’s quickest fifty, and Yuzvendra Chahal became the IPL’s leading wicket-taker after claiming his second consecutive four-wicket haul.
After deciding to bowl, Royals limited KKR to 149 for 8, chasing their goal in just 13.1 overs and improving their net run rate from an already strong 0.388 to 0.633, the second best in the league behind Gujarat Titans, who are currently in first place.
If the Royals are involved in a competition with the NRR for postseason qualifying, it should serve them well. With 12 points from 12 games, they are now ahead of Mumbai Indians, who are second on the table with the same number of points and a game remaining.
After missing the Royals’ sad loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Trent Boult returned, and he made an immediate impact by taking wickets in his first two overs. He typically takes early wickets by outswinging top-order hitters with the new ball, but on this particular occasion, the fielders assisted him in taking the wickets.
Jason Roy was sent back with a running, jumping grab by Shimron Hetmyer at deep square leg, while Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s time at the wicket was finished by Sandeep Sharma with a diving catch to his right at mid-off.
Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana got their third-wicket partnership off to a slow start on a pitch where the odd ball was stopping on the batter. With just one boundary scored in the first 30 balls following Gurbaz’s removal, KKR scored just 30 runs off those 30 balls, and Venkatesh struggled particularly hard to reach 11 off 20.
But after that, he consistently discovered the barrier. In an 18-run ninth over, he struck R Ashwin twice for sixes (after only allowing eight runs in his first two overs), and in the 13th over, he hit Chahal twice for sixes and a four. Eventually, he was out for 57 off 42 balls at the start of the 17th over.
With a loopy delivery that hung wide outside off stump after angling across the left-hander and inviting the big smash that was misplayed to a fielder inside the circle, Chahal dismissed Venkatesh in a manner that is typical of death overs wickets.
Before that, Chahal had already recorded a wicket, getting Nitish to be caught at deep backward square leg in the 11th over to surpass Dwayne Bravo and claim the lead in IPL wicket-taking.
Two more would fall that night: Rinku Singh was caught at long off in the 19th over, which included three runs, and Shardul Thakur was out LBW in the 16th, missing a sweep.
Jaiswal is the last batter you want to bowl to if you are the team’s first pitcher. Jaiswal had hit more fours (13) and sixes (2) in the first over of the game than any other batter in IPL 2023 prior to this one. The fact that Nitish entered the game to bowl the opening over of the Royals’ pursuit was intriguing.
Although Nitish hasn’t bowled frequently this season, he is better than a part-time bowler. He might have reasoned that Jaiswal’s left-handedness would complement his offspin well, or he might have taken a chance on buying a wicket if either opening pursued him too vigorously.
In the end, Jaiswal brutalised Nitish, scoring 6, 6, 4, 2, 4, and coming one run short of the record of 27, established by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai’s Abu Nechim in Qualifier 2 in 2011. Chris Gayle, primarily, was responsible for the record.
Jos Buttler’s dismissal was lost due to an error in the second over, but Jaiswal was unaffected. With the help of overthrows, he was able to score a fortuitous four later in the over before hooking Harshit Rana for six.
Afterward, he went 4, 4, 4 off Shardul Thakur in the third over, driving and pulling and finding gaps as if there were no fielders on the 30-yard circle. Jaiswal then hit a single off his hip to reach fifty in the IPL’s quickest time, beating KL Rahul and Pat Cummins by one ball. He had now moved to 49 from 12 balls.
Samson demonstrated that this pitch was still difficult to bat on as he advanced to 21 off 21 balls at the other end while having a skied return catch dropped by Sunil Narine. Jaiswal’s superb timing and placing hinted that this pitch may have loosened up.
With three consecutive, immaculate sixes from Anukul Roy in the eleventh over, he joined the action and the game’s finale was in sight. When the 14th over began, Jaiswal was on 94 and the Royals were three runs away from victory.
The only thing left to see was if Jaiswal could reach his hundred. Jaiswal was going to score the winning runs as soon as he could, regardless of how they arrived, whether it took a six or not. To conclude with 98 off 47, he moved over to Thakur’s wide full-toss and grabbed it behind square for four.