BENGALURU: The heavens opened up minutes before the scheduled start of 8pm between the Royal Challengers Bangalore-Rajasthan Royals clash at Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday. With continuous rain for two hours or so, accompanied by strong wind and lightning, some might have been taken by surprise that a match even took place.
It was all due to the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s sub-air system – installed in 2017 — and not to forget the groundsmen’s efforts. In most venues, the game could have been abandoned. The two hours of wait was chaotic, fans running for cover, water leakage inside the press box. A possible fire at the P2 stand was also extinguished.
When it came to real action, the game was reduced to five overs per side, with play starting 34 minutes to midnight. However, it started to rain with Royals needing 22 off 10. The game was eventually abandoned with the teams awarded a point each. This makes qualification difficult for Rajasthan and also ended Bangalore’s faint hopes.
With Steve Smith having asked Bangalore to bat first, Bangalore opened with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They scored 23 from the first over. But a hat-trick from Shreyas Gopal, who scalped Kohli, De Villiers and Marcus Stoinis in the second over, pushed Bangalore on the backfoot. Kohli hit 25 off seven balls with three sixes. After Gurkeerat Mann was out in the third over, Bangalore were in trouble at 44/4, and things did not end well as the home team settled for 62/7.
It was a shame that they lost their way despite being 35/0 after 1.3 overs. It was imperative for Rajasthan to get off to a solid start. Openers Liam Livingstone and Sanju Samson added 22 in two overs and when Kulwant Khejroliya conceded 18 in the third, the visitors had their nose ahead, needing 23 from 12 balls.
It was then that Kohli threw his trump card, Yuzvendra Chahal, who responded with the wicket of Samson, but the rain returned, making sure there was no winner.
Brief scores: Bangalore 62/7 in 5 ovs (Kohli 25, Gopal 3/12) vs Rajasthan 41/1 in 3.2 ovs. No result due to rain.