Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith, whose side slumped to an eight-wicket defeat on Thursday, conceded that he would have given Archer a third straight over if given a second chance. Archer was taken off the attack after he dismissed both SRH openers, and the decision backfired for RR.
After being put into bat by Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals’ innings never took off. Robin Uthappa was involved in yet another calamitous run out, Ben Stokes, not for the first time this season, struggled to get going while the rest of the batsmen failed to convert their starts. This meant that all they managed, batting first, was a meagre 154/6.
The total looked below-par but an incredible new-ball spell from Jofra Archer, where he removed both Warner and Bairstow in back-to-back overs, got Rajasthan right back into the game. Experts cried for Smith to give a third straight over in the powerplay for Archer, who had figures of 2/5 after two overs, but the RR skipper opted otherwise and that spelt disaster. Kartik Tyagi and Ben Stokes, who bowled the final three overs in the powerplay, leaked 42 to let SRH off the hook. Eventually, that burst of energy was enough for SRH as Pandey and Shankar saw the side over the line.
Speaking post-match, Smith rued the decision to not bowl Archer and conceded that in hindsight, giving the speedster a third over could have changed things in the game.
“We started well, Jofra taking two big wickets early but we couldn't keep the foot on the pedal. Vijay played smart innings and Manish took the game on and played really nicely. I consulted a few other boys, it was talked about (giving (Jofra another over up front) but opted against and in hindsight after what happened, probably would've given him one more over. It was on my mind,” Smith said post match.
Sunrisers, with the victory, leapfrogged RR. With just 8 points in 11 games, the Royals will have to win each of their three remaining matches to stay alive in the competition. Smith revealed that there was no one thing he could find fault and cite as an area of improvement, but admitted that his side will now have no option but to try and win all their remaining matches.
“We needed some more runs in the first innings. I can't put my finger on anything, there are plenty of good players and good teams. We haven't been able to pull back to back wins. We just need to keep winning and don't how things will work for us mathematically, we have to keep winning, that's our job now.”
A win tomorrow for CSK would push RR to the 8th position in the points table.