17 year-old Sarfaraz Khan showed why he is the future talent for India with his daring batting exploits. But sadly his superb effort after AB de Villiers’ blazing half-century eventually went in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore were forced to share points with Rajasthan Royals after heavy downpour led to match being called off. Batting first, RCB piled up a healthy 200 for seven but just before the Rajasthan Royals were about to begin their chase, it started drizzling and then turned it a steady downpour as the match was eventually called off at 11:35 pm.
Courtesy De Villiers’ 45-ball-57 that consolidated the innings and IPL’s youngest player Sarfaraz’s smashing unbeaten 45 off 21 balls, RCB went onto put up a more than a decent total. This was despite losing their premier superstar players players Chris Gayle (10) and Skipper Virat Kohli (1) departed with less than 20 runs on board. While De Villiers contributed 57 off 45 balls with nine fours and a six, the man who stole the show was stockily built 17-year-old Mumbai lad Sarafaraz. He played some amazing strokes including the upper cut off Shane Watson, the lofted six off Praveen Tambe, a Dilscoop off Dhawal Kulkarni as he hit as many as six fours and a six.
There first over bowled by Tim Southee had a lot of drama in it as he got the dangerous Gayle, who had hit him for a boundary and a straight six. It was an outswinger (inswinger for Gayle) from Southee which he flicked straight at Deepak Hooda’s throat at square leg. Skipper Kohli fished at an away going delivery to be caught by Sanju Samson as RCB were in trouble at 19 for two. But then world’s best batsman AB de Villiers joined forces with young Mandeep Singh as they launched a counter-attack that yielded 74 runs in 8.5 overs.
In the fifth over, the flow of runs began as De Villiers hit James Faulkner for three successive boundaries. The first was an on drive followed by one past fine leg and then an off-drive. When Praveen Tambe came in, De Villiers was quick to sweep him and then punch him through covers for good measure. Little Mandeep also played a cheeky innings as they started adding runs at a fair clip.
Mandeep was finally out leg-before when he tried to play the scoop over short fine leg and was hit on the back foot off a fullish delivery from Stuart Binny. De Villiers however pulled Binny in the same over for a big six to complete his half-century. But a misunderstanding with Dinesh Karthik saw him head back to pavilion being run-out. De Villiers’s 45-ball 57 had nine fours and a six.
Dinesh Karthik (27, 18 balls) paid for his ill-judged attempt for a second run as his innings promised a lot but did very little in the end. But it was young Sarafaraz, who stole the limelight with some attractive shots as home team reached a respectable total.