It was jovial in the Rajasthan Royals (RR) locker room after they put down the highest successful car chase in Indian Premier League (IPL) history on Sunday, decimating Kings XI Punjab’s 223/2 for their second straight match in IPL 2020 to win. Captain Steve Smith led the celebration by congratulating the players on a “big win” and “keeping faith during” the chase, even in a high-pressure situation. “Great win guys. The pursuit of 223 (is a) sensational effort. (We) have always kept the faith, ”said Smith in the team’s locker room after the game. RR uploaded a video to social media and shared with fans the festivities in the dressing room after a stunning win.
Straight from the dressing room, into your heart.
– Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) September 28, 2020
Man of the Match, Sanju Samson’s 85 of just 42 balls played a big part in RR’s win, even if it was Rahul Tewatia’s sensational six-hitting that stole the show by the end.
“Sanju, again, that was an incredible innings, mate,” said Smith, before turning his attention to Tewatia, who, despite being 17 out of 23 at one point, stuck out and finished with a match-winning 53 that saw him hit six sixes into eight balls.
“(Rahul) Tewatia, clearly after a somewhat shaky start … (laughter) great job of keeping the faith, staying in it and sticking it out and getting the boys home. You should definitely win the game change award, ”said Smith.
Coach Andrew McDonald was also quick to point out Smith’s contribution. The skipper hit 50 of just 27 balls and shared a score with 81 points with Samson.
“Smudgy’s innings too … Obviously, he’s not going to go out and talk about himself, about how important that partnership with Sanju (Samson) was at the start,” McDonald joked.
Jofra Archer’s cameo of 13 off three balls, including two sixes, hurled the game decisively in RR’s favor towards the end of the second innings.
‘We need some kind of foundation. We need people everywhere and Jofra, from ball one, when the game is balanced… he’s making a habit of it, ”congratulated McDonald Archer.
McDonald added, “It always takes a collective (effort). It’s a (game of) little moments and small margins and I’m going to lean on Smudge – if we bowl first in those situations, every ball counts.
‘You never know what the hell is going to happen. If you’re at the top of your goal, make sure you’re on and don’t drop your bundle.
“I thought we did and we came back strong, which gave us a bit of a sniff and that’s what we need in this game.”
Tewatia, the hero, was given the opportunity to use the Pagadi – a custom in the locker room to award a traditional Rajasthani headgear to a key player in the match. The choice was obvious.
“There were a lot of performances tonight, especially from the bowlers – Ankit Rajpoot especially in his first game. And TC (Tom Curran). So it was difficult for the bowlers to bowl to death in that situation, but the Pagadi goes to Sanju Samson for incredible innings, ”said Tewatia.
Samson, however, was aware of the role of the bowlers, who had a scorching day on a flat Sharjah deck. Ankit Rajpoot, who played his first game for RR, was the most frugal of all bowlers when he returned 1/39 from four overs.
“I would recommend the Pagadi to Ankit Rajpoot, ”said Samson before jumping to Rajpoot’s corner and handing him the honor.
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