The Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) may be over, but cricket doesn’t cease to exist around the world. Some of the Rajasthan Royals players took part in several international and local T20 competitions and continued to put in some noteworthy performances.
Jos Buttler: 110* (55 balls) vs Pakistan
This man holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred by an English batsman. However, that wasn’t enough for Jos Buttler. He went on to seal the second spot under the same record during the second ODI in a bilateral series against Pakistan.
Buttler walked in to bat in the 36th over with the score on 211. He wasted no time as he smashed Yasir Shah for 14 runs as soon as he came in. The new father belted 9 sixes and 6 fours in what was an absolute carnage at Southampton. He scored his century off exactly 50 balls, and celebrated by holding his bat close to his body, like a baby. Buttler seems to be in fine nick as England prepare for the World Cup.
Jofra Archer: 1/6(4 overs) vs Pakistan
England’s first ODI against Pakistan may have been abandoned due to rain, but what Archer showed them during his spell was a bowler who could tear through any opposition during the World Cup. Archer spat venom on the surface, extracting prodigious swing as well as pace – on his ODI debut.
He troubled Imam-ul-Haq right from the first ball of his spell. Archer started his ODI career with a maiden over. That wasn’t all. He bowled a successive one, and this time, got Imam to nick one to the slip cordon, claiming his first wicket. Archer finished with figures of 1/6 off four overs, impressing everyone around the world, including the English selectors as he made his way into the English squad for the upcoming World Cup.
Ben Stokes: 71* (64 balls) vs Pakistan
The fourth ODI of the bilateral series proved to be the deciding one, as England secured an unassailable lead in the 5-match series. England had got off to a great start, chasing 341. However, they were in danger of being derailed after they lost four wickets in quick succession. From 201/1, they were reduced to 216/5 within three overs. A Ben Stokes special rescued them and took them over the line.
Stokesy came in to bat at number 4 and had to witness the fall of a few wickets at the other end. A tranquil head at the crease saw him settle in, before he opened his shoulders and got the big shots going. Stokes finished unbeaten on 71 and smashed 5 fours and 3 sixes during the knock, taking England home and giving them the series in the final over.
Riyan Parag: 175 off 44 balls
Riyan is 17 and still qualifies to play some school-level cricket! However, with Vivo IPL experience under his belt now, Riyan was more dangerous than ever. Playing for his school, South Point School, Riyan hit a whopping 28 sixes in a jaw-dropping 44-ball 175. The ball went flying to all parts of the park, as Parag proved to be unstoppable.
Shubham Ranjane: 71 (42 balls), T20 Mumbai
The T20 Mumbai competition is going on in full swing in India’s commercial capital. Some of Mumbai’s finest take part in the competition, with one of them being Rajasthan Royals’ Shubham Ranjane. The youngster played a very important knock for his team, ARCS Andheri.
Coming in at number 4, his team was reduced to 41/3 in pursuit of 160. Shubham took his time to get his eye in at the crease and built a handy stand with his partner at the other end. He took the game deep, and brought out his power hitting right at the end. Ranjane provided the finishing touches in the final over, guiding his team to victory.
JaydevUnadkat: 6 wickets in 4 games
The Saurashtra Premier League has been keeping JaydevUnadkat quite busy. Captaining Kutch Warriors, JD has been picking wickets at a miserly economy rate. In four games, he hasn’t conceded over 20 runs even once.
Unadkatled from the front and claimed at least one wicket in each game with a good mix of swing early on in the innings and variations in the death overs.
Many of our players have carried their Vivo IPL form either into the international circuit or in other T20 leagues and matches. The IPL hangover isn’t quite over yet, but very soon, we will see 6 Royals in the ICC Cricket World Cup as well, and we have got their eyes on all of them!