CLT20 2013: Otago Volts score 139/7 against Rajasthan Royals; Rahul Shukla picks three

Rahul Shukla (centre) was the star with the ball for Rajasthan Royals as he picked up three wickets in one over against Otago Volts © IANS

By Sarang Bhalerao

Oct 1, 2013

Otago Volts scored 139 for 7 against Rajasthan Royals in a crucial Group A encounter of Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur on Tuesday. Rahul Shukla (three for 23) was star with the ball for Rajasthan.

The seventh wicket partnership of 39 off 29 balls between Ian Butler (25 off 18 balls) and Nathan McCullum (28 not out off 20 balls) got Otago Volts to a respectable total after the New Zealand outfit looked like losing their way in the middle overs.

Otago began their innings losing flurry of wickets inside powerplay overs. Rajasthan brought in Shukla (three for 23) in place of out-of-sorts Vikramjeet Malik. Shukla vindicated Rajasthan Royals’ faith in him by oicking up three wickets in his first over — stuff of dreams, you might feel. He bowled a perfect outswinger to Hamish Rutherford that pitched on the middle stump and swung in late just a tad to breach the defence of the Otago opener. Skipper Brendon McCullum missed a straight delivery off Shukla and was trapped leg-before for a duck. Derek de Boorder, the Otago ‘keeper was caught in no man’s land when he attempted to pull the short delivery from Shukla but withdrew the shot at the last moment, thus offering a simple caught and bowled.

In the next over Shane Watson bowled a bouncer that befuddled Neil Broom, who went for an unconvincing pull shot. The ball took the top-edge and was caught by ‘keeper Sanju Samson running towards square-leg.  

The man-of-the-match from the previous game against James Neesham was blessed to survive a close caught-behind off Kevon Cooper. The inside-edge from Neesham was taken by ‘keeper Samson. The Otago all-rounder then counterattacked as his partner Ryan ten Doeschate played the role of the sheet-anchor.

Neesham was timing the ball superbly. He got into his groove with a flashing drive off Shukla’s wide delivery which raced towards covers for a boundary. James Faulkner’s short delivery was pulled in front of square by Neesham as he picked up the length of the ball a tad early. Watson was meted out harsh treatment by Neesham in the 11th over. The pull over mid-wicket was stupendous, the straight drive along the ground was belligerence personified while the flick behind square-leg for a six was a classy shot.
Just when Volts looked like entering the recovery mode via 53-run fifth wicket stand, Neesham was dismissed trying to loft Cooper over his head but he ended up toe-ending the ball to long-on for 32. In the next over, Pravin Tambe trapped ten Doeschate with a faster delivery that didn’t spin trapping the Dutch all-rounder right in front of the stumps.

Butler was the aggressor in the partnership with N McCullum. Butler smashed Cooper for two sixes and a boundary in the 17th over and ensured that the total Otago ended up with competitive. Cooper dismissed Butler in the 19th over bowling a fuller delivery which was inside-edged onto the stumps.

In the end N McCullum ensured that Otago finish with 139 on a wicket that has something for the bowlers. Otago will be hoping to extend their 15-match winning streak, where as Rajasthan would be looking to safeguard their citadel.
Brief scores:

Otago Volts 139 for 7 in 20 overs (James Neesham 32, Nathan McCullum 28*; Rahul Shukla 3 for 23 ) vs Rajasthan Royals.

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(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)