Rajasthan Royals surrendered against the Gujarat Titans’ duo of Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad to be bundled out for 118, as the two Afghan spinners shared five wickets in their Indian Premier League contest in Jaipur on Friday.
Rajasthan Royals’ decision to bat after winning the toss backfired as their batting crumbled against Rashid, who returned 4-0-14-3 to spark a collapse, and Noor, who registered 3-0-25-2.
Rajasthan looked in control until the fifth over of the innings at 47 for one, but the home side collapsed without any resistance to lose nine wickets for a mere 71 runs and was bowled out in 17.5 overs, at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Hardik Pandya had Jos Buttler (8) caught by Mohit Sharma at short third man after the batter cracked two fours in a row in the second over.
The pair of Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal (14) tried providing RR with momentum, but their 36-run second-wicket stand was broken in the final over of the powerplay with Abhinav Manohar putting in a dive to stop a cut from Samson.
Mohit Sharma threw the ball to Rashid, who broke the stumps with Jaiswal far out from the crease.
The Rashid-led bowling attack then took firm control of the proceedings. Little ended Samson’s promising start at 30 off 20 balls (3x4s, 1x6s), getting the RR captain caught inside the ring off a mistimed stroke.
Samson moved across the line to play on the on side, but could only get a leading edge, collected by Pandya as the RR skipper looked at the surface in disbelief.
Rashid then outgunned his counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin (2) for the majority of the eighth over, dismantling his off-stump on the final ball.
Riyan Parag (4) continued to disappoint as he failed to read the Afghan leggie’s googly in the 10th over and appealed unsuccessfully against the umpire’s leg-before call.
At the halfway mark, RR were stuttering at 72 for five.
Noor Ahmed got into the act to keep RR under the pump, castling the left-handed Devdutt Padikkal (12) in the 12th over and trapping the dangerous Dhruv Jurel (9) leg-before in his next.
Rashid returned in the 15th over to dismiss Shimron Hetmyer (7) leg-before, with the Caribbean batter’s horrendous run continuing in this IPL.
With scores of 3, 2, 8, 8 and 7, Hetmyer has now recorded five single-digit scores on the trot.
Rashid nearly had his fourth wicket in his final over, but a return shot off Trent Boult’s bat was a bit too far away for his reach in the follow-through.