Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith, whose side bowed out of IPL 2020 on Sunday, lamented the consistent failures of RR’s top-order all season and claimed that the Top 5 batters let the team down by not taking enough responsibility. The 60-run loss ensured RR finished 8th, below CSK.
Needing a drastic victory to secure qualification, on the back of Kings XI Punjab’s loss to Chennai earlier in the day, Rajasthan Royals looked hungry to send out a statement. On a wicket where bowling seemed incredibly difficult, the RR bowlers restricted KKR to 191 and the duo of Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes got the side off to a flyer, taking 19 runs off the very first over.
At this point, chasing down the target under 14 overs seemed like a real possibility but the dream soon turned into a nightmare for RR, who suffered their gazillionth powerplay collapse of the season. Following Uthappa’s dismissal on the last ball of the first over, Stokes, Smith, Samson and Parag all departed inside five overs and the game slipped away from Rajasthan inside the powerplay. Eventually, 131 was all they could manage as they bowed out of the IPL in hideous fashion.
Speaking post-match, a disappointed Steve Smith lamented the inconsistency of the RR top-order which yet again let the side down on Sunday.
“I thought it was around a 180 wicket. There was a bit of dew. Losing four in the Powerplay, it was always going to be tough from there. Cummins bowled nice lengths, made us play some good shots. We got off to a flier, but then we lost wickets in a clump. Unfortunate way to end. We started off really well, won the last two before this one. In the middle we lost our way. Our batters, the top four or five didn't take responsibility perhaps,” Smith said post match.
Rajasthan’s standout players of the season have been Jofra Archer and Rahul Tewatia and the duo once again stepped up today, picking four wickets between themselves. Smith described the performances of the two aforementioned stars as ‘real positives’ but rued the lack of support from the rest of the teammates.
“Couple of real positives. Jofra has been exceptional in pretty much every game. Tewatia obviously has pulled a few out of the hat throughout the tournament. He has bowled exceptionally well throughout the tournament. Not enough support for them."
The crushing 60-run defeat means that RR will finish the season 8th, below CSK.