Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal continued his excellent form in the ongoing Indian Premier League on Tuesday (April 30) when he scalped a hat-trick in the only over he bowled during a rain-curtailed encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Even though Gopal couldn't ensure a victory for his team as the five-over-a-side game eventually got abandoned due to further rain, the 25-year-old from Karnataka still felt pleased on delivering the goods once again.
Gopal got the big wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis on three consecutive balls of the second over, as RR restricted RCB to 62/7 in the allotted five overs. Chasing the 63-run target, the visitors were once 41 for 1 in 3.2 overs in a good position at the M Chinnaswamy stadium before the rain stopped play for the one final time.
"I had a lot more nerves than what they would have had against me. Feels good to be getting them out," said Gopal at the post-match press conference. "Unfortunately for us, we didn't cross the line and didn't fall on the winning side. We still don't know how things are in the table. But it feels good to take those wickets in whatever overs that we had."
Shreyas' hat-trick was the 19th occasion of a bowler strike thrice on his successive balls in the history of IPL. Previously, L Balaji, Makhaya Ntini, Rohit Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Ajit Chandila, Sunil Narine, Pravin Tambe, Shane Watson, Axar Patel, Samuel Badree, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Sam Curran have done the same.
Meanwhile, no-result in this game means RCB is now confirmed to not make it to the play-offs, having earned only nine points after 13 matches with no possible scenario from here on allowing them a top-four finish.
For RR, though, the outcome gave the team a point and made its playoffs quest slightly comforting, with a win in the next match guaranteeing Steve Smith's men the fourth spot.
(Inputs from India Today)