Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Steve Smith said that they have been crying out for a day like this where two of their experienced batsmen do the job for the team and get them over the line, after his side’s 8-wicket win against the Mumbai Indians.
“Our batting was sensational. Sanju (Samson) and Stokesy (Ben Stokes) – that partnership was magnificent. That’s what we’ve been crying out for from our experienced players. We haven’t been able to put it together, you know two of us in a game [getting big scores]. One of us might off, or none of us have come off or anything but when you get two players doing it and getting a partnership like that, we know we have a good side.”
Chasing 196, RR lost wickets of Robin Uthappa and Steve Smith by the 5th over when Sanju Samson joined Ben Stokes in the middle. Both took their chances and smashed every MI bowler on their way to the match-winning unbeaten partnership of 152 runs off just 82 balls.
Talking about Stokes, if he did anything differently before the game, as he scored a century after a string of low scores, Smith said that his sore back in a couple of games didn’t help. “I thought his intent today from ball one was magnificent. He came out and played some really nice cricket shots, took the game on and got himself going. Once he was going, he was hard to stop.”
Talking about the discussions in the middle in between the innings with the duo, Smith said, “When I went out there in the time-out and I think we needed 12 an over at one point and they brought it down to less than 10 and they said that they felt they didn’t even take a risk, playing just good lovely cricket shots. I’m really pleased with the way they closed the game out.”
Need More Consistency from Other Guys to Support Jofra Archer
Although RR chased down the score of 196 pretty comfortably in the end, it was not a walk in the park for the men in pink. None of the other fast bowlers provided enough support to Jofra Archer in the death overs.
Talking about the lack of that support, Smith said, “Jofra has been magnificent for us in almost every game, he’s bowling beautifully. We just need a bit more consistency, I guess, from the other guys around, trying to help him around. I think our spinners have done well, Tyagi is a good find for us. The other guys around just need to keep coming up with good plans and backing their execution.”
After having MI at 121/4 in 16 overs, RR gave away 74 runs in the last four overs owing to a Hardik Pandya blitzkrieg of 60 (21) including 7 sixes. Ankit Rajpoot and Kartik Tyagi both went for 27 runs each in their respective final overs.
Rajasthan Royals now have 10 points in the 12 games they have played and do not just have to win both of their remaining games but also keep an eye on the results for their chance of qualification.
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