Rajasthan Royals registered a much-needed victory on Sunday as they beat Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets to keep their chances for a top-4 finish alive. The Royals, riding on Ben Stokes’ brilliant century and Sanju Samson’s unbeaten 54, chased the 196-run target with ten balls to spare.
RR captain Steve Smithlooked visibly relieved with the performance and heaped praise on centurion Stokes and Samson for their performances with the bat.
“Tonight our batting was sensational. Sanju and Stokesy’s partnership was magnificent. That’s what we have been crying out for from our experienced players. (Before this game) Two batsmen haven’t been able to put together a partnership. One of us coming might come off or none of us comes off. But when you get two players coming off and getting a partnership, you’ve got a good side. Hopefully they get confidence from that and keep moving forward,” Smith said in the post-match press conference.
“He (Stokes) was suffering with a sour back in couple of games but his intent today from ball one was magnificent.
“When you’re chasing 195 runs, you can’t really afford to have too many overs when you don’t score too many runs — even against bowlers like Bumrah who we know how good he is, you still have to score off him. We have to play with such freedom and Stokesy and Sanju played brilliantly tonight.”
Smith, however, pointed out that their fielding remains a cause of worry.
“It was a good wicket. The ball was coming on quite nice. The score was very chaseable. We’re a bit disappointed with our bowling. We dropped another catch (Hardik Pandya‘s) and our fielding isn’t as good as we like,” said the RR captain.
“After that dropped catch, Hardik went berserk. But I thought we started really well. Stokesy was brilliant from the outset, he took the game on and played some good cricket shots.”
Smith has also called for more support to Jofra Archer from the bowlers. The English youngster has been the side’s leading pacer and is currently the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament (17 wickets in 12 matches).
“It has been challenging. Jofra has been magnificent for us in almost every game. We need a bit more consistency from other guys around to try to help him out. The spinners have done a good job in the middle, Tyagi has been a good find,” said Smith.
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