Steve Smith has asserted that Sanju Samson, who scored 85 runs off 42 balls, has been hitting the ball at will in the practice session, which he showcased against KXIP. He credited Rahul Tewatia, who scored 53 off 31 balls, for believing in himself to take the team home after a disastrous start.
Opening the innings for KXIP, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal tonked the bowlers all the ground as if they were eating a piece of cake. They made a record 183-run partnership for the first wicket, making a mockery of the bowlers of Rajasthan. In the process, Mayank also brought up his maiden IPL century, scoring 106 off 50 balls, and with that, he became the second-fastest Indian player to score a century.
Rahul was dismissed by Ankit Rajpoot as he tried to hit a wide-ball over the ropes but was caught at the boundary after scoring 69 off 54 balls. Later, it was Nicholas Pooran who finished the innings with 25 runs off 8 balls taking the total to 223 for 2 wickets. RR skipper Steve Smith stated that they had assessed the conditions in the previous game and felt that keeping wickets in hand was the key to win the match at Sharjah. He asserted that Sanju Samson, who played match-winning innings of 85 runs off 42 balls, is hitting sixes at his will at the moment.
“We got an idea about the conditions here in the last game. It's a small ground, we always thought if we have wickets in the shed we always have a chance.” Smith said in the post-match presentation.
Chasing a huge score of 224, RR didn’t have the best of starts as they lost the wicket of Jos Buttler early on. However, Steve Smith, ho scored 50 off 27 balls, along with Sanju Samson who scored splendid 85 runs off 42 balls, turned the match in RR’s favour. Later, it was Rahul Tewatia who smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over and won the game for Rajasthan and ended up with the score of 53 off 31 balls.
Smith asserted that Samson is in prime form as he is hitting sixes at his will. He credited Tewatia for his blinder at the end, which eventually won them the game.
“Samson is hitting sixes at will at the moment. That was some chase! Tewatia, that was some sort of display against Cottrell. We saw in the nets that he was hitting the ball like he did in that over to Cottrell. Credit to him. Three sixes off Cottrell would have got us back in that game, that's great self-belief. Looked like we could be chasing over 250 at one point, credit to the bowlers for pulling things back.”