Siraj’s Swing Magic Earns RCB Victory in IPL 2024 Match

Siraj got the ball to move both ways in his Power-play and that helped him in dismissing Wriddhiman Saha for the fourth time in seven innings…reports Asian Lite News

Friday’s rain ahead of the Royal Challengers Bengaluru-Gujarat Titans clash meant that fast-bowlers could get some help in Saturday’s clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here. It happened exactly like that as Mohammed Siraj, Vysakh Vijaykumar and Yash Dayal were spot-on with their lengths and found movement to bowl out Gujarat Titans for just 147 in Match 52 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Siraj got the ball to move both ways in his Power-play and that helped him in dismissing Wriddhiman Saha for the fourth time in seven innings. He then forced Shubman Gill to whip and ended up being caught at deep point off a leading edge. He eventually finished with figures of 2-29, earning him Player of the Match award after RCB’s four-wicket win.

“I was actually sick since last night and wasn’t going to play at all today, so this is great. When I got up this morning I thought it was better to rest but the almighty made me play. I kind of manifested it this morning because I envisioned it in a way that I would get Saha out like that, caught behind.”

“I had been playing red-ball cricket for long and hadn’t played with the white ball since the ODI World Cup. So my rhythm was missing a little bit when I came here. But it came back gradually as I worked and practised more and more,” said Siraj after the match ended, where it seemed he was getting his white-ball mojo back, especially with the T20 World Cup starting immediately after IPL 2024.

With the bat, Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli gave RCB a blazing start with a 92-run opening stand off just 35 balls. Du Plessis, the RCB captain, was the more aggressive of the two, hitting 10 fours and three sixes in his 23-ball 64.

Du Plessis felt the phase where RCB lost six wickets in quick succession is something to be taken note of while appreciating his bowling group for being consistent. “There was more bounce in the wicket, we got that information and the bowlers were consistently really good. We dropped a catch but have been really consistent.”

“Something around 180-90 would have been a good score, but we’ve seen the way the game has changed. Don’t look at the scoreboard and play the way that we want to play. It was a bit nerve-racking, another wicket, another wicket.”

“Probably not the best (way to complete a chase) but you’re trying to be positive, get your NRR up. It makes sense from that point of view but it gets to the point when you need to show a bit of calmness and composure – probably around four down, so some lessons to be learned from that.”

It took Dinesh Karthik’s 21 not out and Swapnil Singh’s unbeaten 15 to get RCB over the line in 13.4 overs and help them jump to seventh place in the points table. Karthik was having tea and drank cappuccino after four overs, with the thought being his batting chance wouldn’t come, but he had to come in to save the day.

“But things happened and then I had to have a bat. How to hit boundaries, basic cricketing skills come through. I backed myself to get the job done. The pitch was good to bowl on, having been under the covers there was a bit of moisture,” said Karthik.

“Good toss to win but the bowlers did the job beautifully. The way Faf and Virat batted, I don’t think they would have played the same shots batting first! Play for the one that comes in (on advice to Swapnil). Said the sweep is a good option, but commit to it,” he added.

RCB’s win also meant GT slid to ninth place, while Mumbai Indians became the new occupants of tenth position in the points table.

GT captain Shubman Gill admitted his batters should have posted 170-180 on board, with their playoff hopes now hanging by a slim thread.

“It depends on the wicket. First couple of overs you get a good idea and play according to that. I think 170-80 on this wicket would have been a good total. How we batted in the Power-play, and how they bowled, decided the game.”

“We would have had one extra bowler but losing three wickets in the powerplay (changed planning). Very important to start from zero in our next match and move on from this game. Learn from mistakes and not repeat them. All about winning from here on,” said Gill.

RCB will now travel to Dharamsala, where they will take on Punjab Kings on May 9 at the HPCA Stadium while GT will return home to Ahmedabad and rest before preparing to host defending champions Chennai Super Kings on May 10 at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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