Rajasthan Royals pacer Kartik Tyagi has said that he has spoken to senior players who told him that the game can change at any time. His comments came after his heroics against Punjab Kings when he defended only four runs in the last over of the match to hand Rajasthan the win on Tuesday.
Punjab skipper KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl first against the Royals in Dubai. Openers Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal stitched an explosive partnership of 54 runs in just 5.3 overs before Lewis was caught at cover by Mayank Agarwal off the bowling of Arshdeep Singh. Jaiswal was one short of his first half century of the IPL. Mahipal Lomror innings gave an impetus to the Royals innings as he scored 43 runs off just 17 as he hit two fours and four sixes. Royals were looking en route to a 200 plus score but a brilliant spell of bowling in the death overs from Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh ensured they were restricted to a score of 185.
In reply to Royals’ 185, Punjab got off to a dream start from the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as they stitched a partnership of 120 runs for the first wicket. KL Rahul benefited from poor fielding by the Royals as three chances were dropped by Evin Lewis, Riyan Parag and Chetan Sakariya. Punjab were looking to register an easy win as they needed only four runs of the last over. Kartik Tyagi was handed the responsibility to defend such a small target as Nicholas Pooran and Aiden Markram were looking to finish the game off for the team but it wasn’t meant to be as Tyagi dismissed Pooran, who edged a full length delivery straight to Sanju Samson on the third ball off the over. Deepak Hooda came to the crease and he tried to chase a wide delivery. It could have been called wide had he not shuffled towards the off-side.
He got out the next ball edged straight to Samson. With three runs required off the last ball, Tyagi bowled a yorker which was missed by Fabian Allen and Royals won the game out of nowhere. The 20-year-old was adjudged man of the match.
“I was injured during the India leg of the IPL and by the time I got fit, the tournament was suspended. Felt sad. So this feels really good. I have been talking to people over the years and they keep telling me that things keep changing in this format, so I need to keep believing. I've always heard from everyone and also watched games in this format where strange things have happened. Today, I was fortunate to play a big role in something special. I was bowling a bit too short earlier, later worked on it consciously after getting a lot of feedback,” said the 20-year-old at the post match presentation.
With this win, Royals have jumped to fifth place on the points table equalling Mumbai Indians, who have won four and lost four games. Royals will play next against Delhi Capitals on Saturday, September 25 in Abu Dhabi.