Dismissing Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers is one of the hardest tasks in cricket at the best of times – but not for Shreyas Gopal, it seems, who picked up two of the game’s biggest wickets as he claimed an Indian Premier League hat-trick on Tuesday.
The Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner first had Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Kohli caught by Liam Livingstone for 25 runs, before he had de Villiers out at cover with his next delivery for 10.
Then, he removed Australian allrounder Marcus Stoinis with his next delivery – caught by compatriot Steve Smith at mid-on – for a golden duck, completing the hat-trick.
Gopal had also dismissed both Kohli and de Villiers when the teams met earlier in the season in Jaipur.
Heavy rain first restricted the encounter at M Chinnaswamy Stadium to just five overs per side, then saw the match called off altogether with no result possible.
But the 8.2 overs played still produced plenty of highlights.
Batting first, RCB openers Kohli and de Villiers raced to 35 from just 1.3 overs as the home side racked up 7-62 from five overs.
Sanju Samson (28 off 13) and Livingstone (11no off 7) had Rajasthan flying to 1-41 from 3.2 overs in reply but when the rain returned, there was no further play as the match ended without a result.
The wet weather meant Australian batsman Smith went unused in his final appearance of the IPL season – both he and Stoinis will now return to Australia to begin preparations for Australia's World Cup campaign in England and Wales.
Smith leaves India with 319 runs at 39.87 for the Royals at a strike rate of 116.00.
The national side will gather for a pre-tournament camp in Brisbane this week.