Mumbai : A scintillating unbeaten 36-ball 59 from Shimron Hetmyer was followed by a four-for from Yuzvendra Chahal as Rajasthan Royals beat Lucknow Super Giants by 3 runs at the Wankhede in Mumbai. With the win, Royals registered their third victory of the season.
Chahal, Player of the Match, said,Backed myself. My main strength is my mind. Didn’t want to divert from what I usually do. I was always ready to bowl at anytime from overs 1-20. Enjoyed de Kock’s wicket the most. He could’ve changed the game. Had seen him step out, had an intuition he’d come again (Badoni). Bowled it wider. Don’t think a lot about my bad games.
Sanju Samson, RR skipper said, ‘Feels good (to be top of the table). Depends on how he has bowled his first three overs. Got the feel that he has done well and he is confident (talking about Kuldeep Sen) to go and execute his wide yorker which he has been working in the off season. Saw him in Syed Mushtaq and he was nailing his wide yorkers. (Boult) Came to me before first ball, told me ‘Sanju change of plan, I’m going to go around the wicket, and going straight in his legs and hit that bowled’.
Funny to be around and his skills are commendable. Conversations (with Hetmyer) are ‘have you eaten, have you slept well and are you happy’, that’s it. Experience he has, really great cricketing sense he has. Has been doing great job for us.
It’s about being Rajasthan Royals (Ashwin’s retired-out). We keep trying different things. Have been talking about it before the season. We thought that if some situation occurs, we can use it. Was a team decision. Chahal is someone who can be given the ball anytime from overs 1-20. He’s the greatest legspinner, if I can say, that India’s seen in the present. Thought why not use him more at the end when the pressure is more.’
Trent Boult, said, ‘It was a late call at breakfast, and it was Jimmy Neesham’s idea to go with that plan against KL Rahul. I don’t want to give him too much credit (laughs). My role with the new ball is to take as many wickets as possible. It’s a pretty simple game for me at the top and get it to swing.
The humidity and the overheads assisted it. Limited English from Kuldeep, he runs in hard though. He executed it well in the end and he is only going to get better. Some quality fast bowling in our side and in the tournament going around. I’ll probably watch my batting before my bowling’.
KL Rahul, LSG slipper said, ‘: I didn’t see it (the ball that got him from Boult), if I did I could have done something about it. Have to give it to him. Was a good ball. We have a good team, and have enough options with bat and ball. Even when we were 20-odd for three, we knew we had a chance.
Obviously, today we needed one good partnership which we never got going. At the end, it was excellent from Stoinis to get it close and to do it in his first game of the season will give him confidence. It was always a plan (to hold Stoinis back), we know how dangerous he can be in the last five overs.
As I said, we have a lot of all-rounders, so many options and so we could shuffle the batting order a bit. We like to be a bit unpredictable a bit. These kind of totals can be a bit tricky at times, plan was to throw the bowlers off their lengths a bit but didn’t happen.
But we’re a side that would continue to try being unpredictable in the coming games too. We couldn’t execute our plans at the end, the yorkers and other plans. If you miss your plans, batters these days will put you in trouble. We’ll try to work harder and handle the pressure better. One bad game won’t change things, will be a good learning for us.’