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1.1 overs (0 Run)
No run, punched with sweet timing but not finding the gap.
Right, spin in the first over. Will it be Chris Morris from the other end now? Yes, here he comes steaming in…
0.6 over (0 Run)
Dot to end a fine over. The last ball is shortish and around middle, Uthappa works it towards mid-wicket. Just 2 from the opening over.
0.5 over (1 Run)
Stokes is up and running now! Tossed up and outside off, Stokes eases it down to long off for an easy run.
0.4 over (0 Run)
Three dots in a row! Flatter and around middle and leg, Stokes flicks it to the man at mid-wicket for nothing.
0.3 over (0 Run)
Floated outside off, driven back to the bowler.
0.2 over (0 Run)
Shortish and around middle, Stokes tucks it towards mid-wicket.
0.1 over (1 Run)
Uthappa and Rajasthan are underway! Flatter ball around middle, Uthappa strokes it towards mid on and gets to the other end.
We are in all readiness to begin play at the ‘Ring of Fire’ then. The umpires stride out to the middle first, followed by the Bangalore players. The openers for Rajasthan are Ben Stokes and….Robin Uthappa! So, Jos Buttler has been dropped down in the batting order. Uthappa has opened many times for Kolkata, his past franchise. Right, let’s see how this pays off for the Men in Pink. Washington Sundar with the ball for Bangalore. He has been phenomenal in the Powerplay overs. 3, 2, 1…HERE WE GO…
Bangalore (Playing XI) – Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Washington Sundar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann (IN PLACE OF MOHAMMED SIRAJ), Shahbaz Ahmed (IN PLACE OF SHIVAM DUBE), Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Rajasthan (Unchanged Playing XI) – Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Steven Smith (C), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi.
Virat Kohli, Bangalore’s captain, says that the pitch looks much better than he thought. Not as rough as the one in Sharjah he feels. On the changes, Kohli informs that Gurkeerat Mann comes in for Siraj, the latter was brought in specifically for their last game in Sharjah. Also Shivam Dube misses out for Shahbaz Ahmed, who is set to make his League debut. Kohli states that they have taken their learnings from the losses. Adds that it has been hectic this week, with this game being their fourth.
Steven Smith, Rajasthan’s skipper, says that he wants to bat first, pretty much due to the surface in Dubai and the fact that he likes to bat first in day games. Feels they did most of the things right in the last game but ended up on the losing side. Says that the team composition remains the same. Adds that Stokes coming into the team has provided added balance. Hopes they can bat well.
TOSS – It is time for the spin of the coin! Let’s see on which team’s side it lands. Up it goes and it is Smith who has won it. Rajasthan will BAT FIRST.
Pitch Report – Danny Morrison is in the middle for the Pitch Report. The boundary dimensions are very deceptive in terms of sizing, he says. JP Duminy is there as well. He too seconds Morrison’s opinion on the dimensions. Duminy reckons it is a good surface, historically a bit on the slower side. Only the second day game in Dubai and how it pans out will be interesting, states Duminy. Tossing the ball will be key, he further adds.
For Smith and co., an arduous task of winning most of their games ahead is what lies on their plate. They pulled off a miraculous heist against Hyderabad and were poised to win the last game against Mumbai. But the defending champions came back strongly to halt them in their tracks. Their batting is strong but their bowling hinges too much on Archer alone. If they can set right this discrepancy, they can still bounce back in the tournament. Let’s see how it pans out here for them. Stay tuned for the toss and team updates from both the camps…
Let’s talk about Kohli’s men first. They would be eager to get back to winning ways after nearly grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat against Punjab in their last game. The openers have not been able to provide a strong platform for the others coming below them. Kohli’s scoring rate has been slow in the last couple of games and the ploy to keep de Villiers for the later half against Punjab did not pay off well. Their bowlers too failed to deliver against Punjab and one has to blame a few tactics used by skipper Kohli while bowling as well. So, Bangalore would rather be better sticking to their erstwhile setup than tinkering the same.
Hello and welcome to Super Saturday. You know what that means – DOUBLE HEADERS! Yes, double the excitement. In the 1st game, Bangalore take on Rajasthan while in the 2nd game, Delhi will take on Chennai in Sharjah. So, let’s talk about the game in hand! Kohli vs Smith? Sounds interesting!
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