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Rain ruins RCB’s playoff hopes

Rain ruins RCB’s playoff hopes

Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore were knocked out of the 2019 Indian Premier League after rain ruined a thrilling match against Rajasthan Royals in Bengaluru.

Shreyas Gopal claimed a hat-trick for the Royals but his efforts were in vain as the rain returned to frustrate players and fans.

The match finally started 3 hours and 26 minutes after the scheduled 8 pm start following two inspections by the umpires. Earlier in the evening, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith had won the toss and decided to bowl.

With the match reduced to a 5-over shootout, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers opened the innings for RCB and the skipper started off with 2 sixes off the first two deliveries from Varun Aaron before AB de Villiers hit the bowler for 2 boundaries.

Virat Kohli then set his sights on Shreyas Gopal and hit him for a huge six. Gopal has made it a habit of dismissing Kohli and AB de Villiers in the IPL and on Tuesday, he once again had the last laugh when he snared them both off successive deliveries.

Marcus Stoinis, the power hitter from Australia, faced the hat-trick ball and he hit it straight to Steve Smith at mid-off.

Shreyas Gopal became only the 3rd Indian bowler after Yuvraj Singh and Amit Mishra to record multiple hat-tricks in the T20 format. In the 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Trophy, Gopal had claimed a hat-trick for Karnataka against Haryana.

In response, RR openers Sanju Samson and Liam Livingstone were not as fiery as Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and played out a few dot balls. But both the openers hit the poor balls for sixes and the Royals raced away to 40 off 4 overs and needed 23 off the final 2 overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal came on for RCB and removed Sanju Samson and the match was poised for an exciting finish before the rain returned. It was then decided that the game would be called off.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed at the bottom of the table. With 9 points from 13 matches, RCB can finish with only 11 points if they win their final match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 4.

This turned out to be another disappointing IPL season for Royal Challengers Bangalore who had made it to the final in 2016.

In 2017, RCB finished last on the points table after winning only 3 out of their 14 games. Last year, RCB finished 6th with 6 wins from 14 matches.

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