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4.6 overs (2 Runs)
In the air… safe! That was always going to be tough for Kohli to catch, running backwards.
4.5 overs (1 Run)
Good bowling. Spots Stokes making room, Saini follows him. Stokes flicks it towards deep mid-wicket for a run.
4.4 overs (1 Run)
Shortish and outside off, Uthappa runs it down to third man for one.
4.3 overs (1 Run)
Good length ball outside off, pulled wide of the mid-wicket fielder who makes a half stop. A single taken before the man at mid on can get to the ball.
4.2 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Slammed! Stokes want to say that even I am playing this game. A shortish ball around off, Stokes goes back and pumps it over mid-wicket and it races away to the fence.
4.1 overs (0 Run)
Flicked well but for nothing. Saini runs in and delivers a full ball on middle, Stokes flicks it towards mid on.
Right, Navdeep Saini now, to bowl.
3.6 overs (6 Runs)
SIX! This one goes all the way! What a way to end the over. A length ball, it is right in the hitting arc of Uthappa. He tonks it over mid on and clears the fence easily. 17 runs off Udana’s first over, changes are not doing the trick for Kohli so far.
3.5 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Vintage Uthappa! Stands and powers it over mid on. A length ball just outside off, Uthappa thumps it over mid on and finds the fence.
3.5 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! Another one down the leg side. Uthappa once again fails to flick. Wided again.
3.5 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! Missed the line and bowls it down the leg side. Uthappa looks to flick but misses. Wided.
3.4 overs (1 Run)
Good change of pace! A slower yorker around off, Stokes does well to dig it out towards the off side for a single.
3.3 overs (0 Run)
Confusion but safe in the end. Direct hit would’ve made it interesting. Stokes makes room and tries to steer it through point. Stokes wanted the run but Uthappa sends him back. The fielder has a shy at the striker’s end but misses.
3.2 overs (0 Run)
Back of a length ball around off, pushed towards the leg side.
3.1 overs (4 Runs)
EDGY FOUR! Fifth in last 7 balls. A length ball outside off, Stokes advances and looks to slam it over the bowler’s head but gets a thick outside edge. It races away to the third man fence.
Isuru Udana into the attack now.
2.6 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Boom! 4th boundary in the over! Uthappa has surely found his mojo. Floated outside off, Uthappa moves to the off side and slog sweeps it again. Clears square leg again and the ball races away to the fence.
2.5 overs (0 Run)
Tossed up and around off, pushed back to the bowler.
2.4 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Third boundary of the over! Uthappa has found his feet it seems, at the top order. Sundar is struggling here. Drags one short and on middle, Uthappa sits down and slog sweeps it over square leg for a boundary.
2.3 overs (0 Run)
Flatter and on middle, tucked towards mid-wicket.
2.2 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Two-in-two! Short and on middle, Uthappa moves a touch on the off side and powers it through short fine leg for a boundary.
2.1 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! GLORIOUS! Full and just outside off, Uthappa makes room and creams the drive through the cover region. First boundary of the game.
1.6 overs (0 Run)
The extra ball is not costly! Stokes advances down the track a bit too early. Morris spots it and fires it wide outside off, Stokes cannot reach it to so he lets it be. 3 from Morris’ first.
1.6 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! He will have to re-bowl the last ball. He slipped this one down the leg side. Stokes misses his flick. Lucky escape for Morris because the fine leg fielder was inside the ring and a gentle tickle would’ve meant the ball would’ve raced to the fence. Wided by the umpire.
1.5 overs (1 Run)
Tucks the next one towards mid-wicket for a quick single. Good over from Morris so far. Let’s see if he can finish it well.
1.4 overs (0 Run)
Good length ball around off, this time Uthappa is right behind the line of the ball to push it towards mid on.
1.3 overs (0 Run)
Beaten! Nice shape away from the right-hander. A length ball just outside off, Uthappa has a poke but the ball moves away and beats the outside edge.
1.2 overs (1 Run)
Fuller and around middle, this time Stokes flicks it down to long on for one.
1.1 overs (0 Run)
Crunched but straight to the fielder. Morris begins his spell with a short ball outside off, Stokes shuffles to the off side and crunches it but it goes straight to the cover-point fielder.
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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