IPL 2021: How Rajasthan Royals fared in first half of season

© Provided by Firstpost IPL 2021: How Rajasthan Royals fared in first half of season

Rajasthan Royals will resume their IPL 2021 campaign in the UAE on 21 September with a match against Punjab Kings. When the tournament was suspended in May this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Rajasthan were placed fifth on the table with three wins and four defeats from seven matches.

Key foreign players like Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes will be missing the rest of the matches while the newcomers Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Glenn Phillips and Oshane Thomas will aim to make an impact with their performances.

Captain Sanju Samson will hope Rajasthan hit a consistent run in the second half of the tournament and qualify for the playoffs.

Here’s a recap of their campaign so far:

Match 1, RR vs PBKS, 12 April – Lost

© Provided by Firstpost Captain of Rajasthan Royals Sanju Samson. Sportzpics

Rajasthan met Punjab Kings in their opening match of the season in Mumbai and almost pulled off a sensational run chase. Punjab batted first and put up a huge total of 221/6 in 20 overs. Skipper KL Rahul scored 91 while Chris Gayle (40) and Deepka Hooda (64) chipped in with valuable contributions.

Samson then played a brilliant knock but he didn’t find much support from other batsmen. The captain’s 119-run knock almost took the team to victory but his last-ball dismissal against Arshdeep Singh, with the team needing five runs, sealed the match in Punjab’s favour.

Match 2, RR vs DC, 15 April – Won

Rajasthan won the toss and opted to field first against the formidable Delhi Capitals. The Rishabh Pant-led team got off to a bad start thanks to Jaydev Unadkat’s superb spell (3/15). Pant made a half-century and with the help of lower-order batsmen, Delhi scored 147/8 in 20 overs.

In the second innings, RR lost the first five wickets for just 42 runs. But David Miller stuck around and he shared a decent partnership with Rahul Tewatia (19). Miller fell after scoring 62 and Rajasthan needed 44 runs from the last four overs. Chris Morris, IPL’s costliest buy, smashed four sixes in the death overs to take Rajasthan home with two balls to spare.

Match 3, RR vs CSK, 19 April – Lost

Rajasthan couldn’t keep their winning momentum against MS Dhoni’s CSK. Batting first, CSK made 188/9 in their 20 overs, without any half-centuries but useful contributions from at least eight players. Chetan Sakariya picked three wickets for RR while Morris returns were 2/33 in four overs.

Buttler (49) gave a good start to his team but Rajasthan kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Moeen Ali did the maximum damage with his spin bowling, picking three wickets for just seven runs from his three overs. Ravindra Jadeja also took two wickets as Rajasthan ended up with 143/9 in overs.

Match 4, RR vs RCB, 22 April – Lost

Royal Challengers Bangalore clinched their fourth successive victory in the season, at RR’s expense, thanks to Devdutt Padikkal’s superb century and skipper Virat Kohli’s effort with the bat.

Once again, Rajasthan’s top order failed to put up any decent partnerships with the team losing the first four wickets for just 43 runs. Southpaw Shivam Dube (46) and Riyan Parag (25) settled the innings with a 66-run partnership while Tewatia’s (40) power-hitting ensured Rajasthan post a decent 177.

But their bowlers had no answers to Padikkal and Kohli. Padikkal remained unbeaten on 101 from 52 balls while Kohli scored 72 as RCB won the match by 10 wickets.

Match 5, RR vs KKR, 24 April – Won

After two back-to-back defeats, Rajasthan earned an important win against Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai. Morris delivered with the ball as his figures of 4/23 in four overs ensured Kolkata ended up with only 133/9 in 20 overs.

Rajasthan lost Buttler (5) cheaply but skipper Samson stayed till the end and made sure his team crossed the line with seven balls to spare. Samson made 42 as Rajasthan chased down the total with the loss of four wickets.

Match 6, RR vs MI, 29 April – Lost

Rajasthan became a victim of inconsistency again as they lost their match against defending champions Mumbai Indians by seven wickets.

Sent to bat first, RR openers Buttler (41) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (32) shared a 66-run partnership and then Samson also played a good knock of 42. Shivam Dube also helped with the bat, scoring 35 as they made 171/4 in 20 overs.

Quinton de Kock took charge of the chase and played a quickfire knock of 70 off 50 deliveries. Krunal Pandya also made 39 as Rohit Sharma’s team comfortably chased down the total in 18.3 overs.

Match 7, RR vs SRH, 2 May – Won

© Provided by Firstpost Jos Buttler celebrates after bringing up his maiden IPL century in Rajasthan Royals’ home game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on 2 May. Sportzpics

Samson’s team secured their third win of the season courtesy of a superb knock from Buttler. The Englishman scored his maiden T20 century which set up a big victory for his team.

Batting first, Rajasthan made 220/3 in 20 overs. Buttler smashed eight sixes and 11 fours in his 124-run knock. Samson also provided decent help with the bat as he made 48 off 33 balls.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s top order got decent starts but wickets kept falling. In the end, they made 165/8 in 20 overs. Morris and Mustrfizur Rahman picked three wickets each.

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