Bengaluru, April 29 (IANS): Persistent pre-monsoon showers that started during innings break forced the abandonment of the game between hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in the 2015 Pepsi Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.
The rains commenced soon after RCB completed their innings on 200 for seven. The umpires, Johan Cloete and Paschim Pathak waited until close to midnight before calling off the match. As such, the teams picked up one point apiece.
While Rajasthan Royals joined Chennai Super Kings at the top of the table with 12 points but placed second on net run rate, RCB tied with Kolkata Knight Riders whom they host Saturday, on seven. RCB, with superior NRR moved to third position ahead of KKR.
Earlier, AB de Villiers (57, 45b, 9×4, 1×6) and 17-year old fresh face from Mumbai Sarfaraz Khan (45 not out, 21b, 6×4, 1×6) helped RCB post a total of 200 for seven with 70 runs being scored in the last five overs.
South African de Villiers and Khan batted in contrasting styles, but to great effect as RCB recovered from the early exits of in-form openers Chris Gayle (10) and skipper Virat Kohli (1), both falling to Kiwi paceman Tim Southee.
However, Southee’s efforts were wasted as other visiting bowlers, notably leg-spinner Pravin Tambe who conceded 39 runs in his three overs and left-arm seamer James Faulkner who went for 26 in two, were rather ordinary.
RCB were 19 for two in just the third over after Gayle, who had blasted a four and a six off Southee, flicked the fourth ball straight to Hooda at mid-wicket, and in the next over, Kohli, playing distantly, nicked to wicket-keeper Sanju Samson.
As well as de Villiers batted to hold the innings together, it was young Sarfaraz Khan who had the critics gushing forth with praise as the Mumbai colt played fearlessly, if a tad cheeky, to give a leg-up to RCB at the death.
Earlier, de Villiers and Mandeep Singh (27, 20b, 4×4) laid the foundation with a 74-run partnership for the third wicket before the latter fell to Stuart Binny. Soon after, de Villiers too departed, caught short of the crease while attempting a sharp single as RCB slid to 124 for four in the 14th over.
Thereafter, Karthik and Khan were involved in a brief partnership of 28 runs when the former was run out following a misunderstanding. Khan then took over as he karted Tambe for 18 in the 18th over and continued with the cameo to win for himself a new set of fans.