Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Friday pulled off a clinical run chase to beat Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
KXIP put up 185/4 wickets due to a blistering 99 off 63 balls, but RR themselves got off to a quick start due to Ben Stokes’s 50 off 26 balls at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. RR finished at 186/3 wickets in 17.3 overs.
A happy RR skipper Steve Smith, said, ‘We ebbed and flowed (through the tournament). But would have been great to win a few in the middle. But it is about peaking at the right time. We still need to do our bit, We have different plans as to who goes in after who gets out. Gave Buttler a chance to bat at number 5 after he didn’t bat in the previous game. Nice to get over the line comfortably. Helps the NRR. The last two games he (Stokes) has been exceptional. Has good innovation, Hits the ball in weird areas. He is a valuable player. One of the best in the world. You are always talking to players and try to get the best of them. We know if he spends time in the middle, he will come good. Couple of games tomorrow, we will be matching them closely and then good to go day after.’
Man of the Match Ben Stokes said, ‘ think when you are in a position like we are, you have nothing to lose. We are still hanging in. That is pleasing. The sixes are always pleasing. I went in the same mentality like I did against MI. Wanted to go hard with the new ball. We had a decent break from the last game. It’s that shot you don’t expect to go to the boundary, that sort of a short gives me confidence and gives the feeling it’s going to be a good outing. We normally have a quick turnaround. I cut down on the bowling part in the break to remain fresh.’