Indian Premier League (IPL) at its best. Rajasthan Royals pulled off the greatest heist chasing down 224 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium against Kings XI Punjab. Losing skipper KL Rahul, while speaking at the end of the game, defended his bowlers and said that they will get back better.
While many thought Punjab have won the game in the halfway mark, Rajasthan Royals didn’t lose hope. The way Sanju Samson and Steve Smith batted despite losing Jos Butter early will go down in the history. They added 81 runs for the second wicket as Rajasthan touched the 100-run mark in nine overs to keep up with asking rate.
Rajasthan Royals pull off an incredible win
However, the run-rate witnessed a dip after Smith’s departure as Rahul Tewatia failed to connect the ball. Sanju Samson tried his best but KL Rahul brought in his main man and Mohammed Shami stuck immediately. While many thought that the match is over, Rahul Tewatia struck five sixes off Sheldon Cottrell’s 18th over to set the chase for his side.
Tewatia continued his onslaught as he brought his fifty in a splash of a second. Although he got out, Jofra Archer smashed two sixes and took his side. It is the best IPL game ever witnessed.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab banked on their openers – Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul to post a mammoth total. They added 183 runs for the first wicket as Punjab went onto post 223 runs for the loss of two wickets in their quota of 20 overs.
KL Rahul defends his bowlers
Mayank took the hot seat as he clobbered his maiden IPL century while Rahul backed his hundred with another fifty. Rajasthan tried to pull things back but Nicholas Pooran’s quickfire 25 in the last two overs powered Punjab to 223 – the highest total of the season.
However, it was not enough as Rajasthan Royals pulled off the most incredible heist of the history of IPL. Speaking after a disastrous heartbreak, KL Rahul defended his bowlers. He said that these bowlers have done the job before and they will come back better in the coming game.
“Towards the end they batted well and put pressure on our bowlers. I back them to do the job, they have done well in the last two games, it’s OK to have one bad game. They will only learn from this and come back better,” Rahul said.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul didn’t feel the small ground played the factor. He feels the batters have targetted the bowlers in the death overs and praised Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia for brilliant hitting.
“Small grounds and the total doesn’t really matter. We have seen in the last seven or eight games – be it in Sharjah or in Dubai, the bowlers are going the distance at the back end in this tournament so far, the teams are backing their batsmen to have a go at the death and get those big overs – Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia did really well, they were set, played superbly well and they deserve this win,” he added,