Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Mahipal Lomror was handed a game against Royal Challenger Bangalore, his first of the 2020 IPL, in place of pacer Ankit Rajpoot at the Sheik Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The left-hander repaid his captain Steve Smith and coach Andrew McDonald’s faith with a fluent knock of 47 from 39 balls, which included a four and three sixes.
After winning the toss, Smith had chosen to bat first under hot and humid conditions. The Royals, after a blistering start by Jos Buttler (22 off 12 balls), were reduced to 31/3 in the fifth over.
That was when Lomror joined experienced teammate Robin Uthappa in the middle. But the 20-year-old was not ready to play second fiddle as he smashed boundaries off Adam Zampa and Navdeep Saini in back-to-back overs.
Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal soon dismissed Uthappa, one of his three wickets in the outing, and Riyan Parag came in. Lomror and Parag added 35 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter departed.
Lomror, who had made only 28 runs in three previous IPL innings, then smoked two sixes off Chahal. However, the RCB spinner had the last laugh as he took Lomror’s wicket, caught by Devdutt Padikkal at long-off.
Lomror has scored 1953 runs and taken 39 wickets in 33 matches for Rajasthan in first-class cricket, while he has contributed 14 half-centuries in 67 limited-overs games.