Felix Austin | cricket20
The Rajasthan Royals poor start to this years Indian Premier League continued as Shane Warnes injury hit side struggled with the bat setting the Royal Challengers Bangalore a run chase of just 93.
Put into bat by Anil Kumble the Royals reshuffled top order failed to spark as they scored an IPL low 45 runs from the first 10 overs hitting only 3 boundaries.
The Royals handed an IPL debut to Michael Lumb at the top of the order replacing Graeme Smith who was ruled out of the remainder of this years IPL with a broken finger.
Lumb and opening partner Naman Ojha enjoyed a promising start scoring 14 runs from the first 2 overs but the introduction of spin almost halted the Royals progress with Kumble bowling brilliantly to leave the visitors frustrated.
With the Royals clearly struggerling Ojha (16), who was promoted from number 3 to replace Swapnil Asnodkar, tried to spark life into their stuttering innings but he was caught by Robin Uthappaat out on the boundary after trying to smash Jaques Kallis out of the ground.
Lumb (10) and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala (5) soon followed as the Royals innings was in danger of falling apart. Yusuf Pathan offered some hope with a rapid 26 which included two sixes off the bowling of Vinay Kumar but he was run out in the 14th over to leave the Royals 75-4.
Despite the lost of Pathan the Royals still had Damien Martyn at the crease and with wickets in hand a total of 120 was still within reach which would have given their bowlers a defendable total.
The Royals chances of even reaching 100 though were blown away in the 16th over thanks to Praveen Kumar who picked up a hat trick removing Martyn (19), Sumit Narwal (0) and Para Droga (3) to put the home side on course for victory.
Kumar’s stunning blow was too much for the Royals to take as their tail withered away collapsing to an embarrassing 92 all out losing 7 wickets for just 17 runs.