IPL 2020: Match 9 – RR vs KXIP – Who Said What

IPL 2020: Match 9 – RR vs KXIP – Who Said What

This was the highest-ever run chase in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sanju Samson IPL
Sanju Samson. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

With short boundaries and an excellent batting track, big scores are always on the cards in Sharjah. However, the game between the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) was on a whole different level with nearly 450 runs scored. It was a run-scoring feast with several balls flying either over the ropes or sometimes even out of the ground.

Having been put in to bat first, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were on fire. They put up a record partnership with the latter even going on to register his first-ever IPL century. At one stage, it even seemed as if they would score in excess of 250 runs in the innings. But the Royals’ bowlers pulled things back beautifully and helped restrict the opposition to 223 runs.

Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia help achieve the near-impossible

In the chase, the Rajasthan Royals got off to a brilliant start. With Steve Smith and Sanju Samson going after the bowlers, they were ahead of the required run rate. However, things turned awry when RR decided to promote Rahul Tewatia up the order. The left-hander struggled to get bat on ball in the initial part of his innings. With his strike rate well under 50, it put undue pressure on Sanju. While he tried his level best, he was out for 85 off 42 balls and it seemed as if it was game over for RR.

However, Tewatia rose up to the occasion, smoking 30 runs off Sheldon Cottrell’s over and bringing RR right back into the game. Jofra Archer then joined the party with a couple of meaty blows which brought the equation down to run-a-ball. Tewatia got out in the 19th over on 53  and despite losing Riyan Parag in the final over, Tom Curran finished the phenomenal run chase for his team by smashing a boundary in the final over.

Rahul Tewatia, the RR all-rounder, said

Now I am better. The worst 20 balls I have ever played. After that, I began to hit so I kept going. The dugout knows I can hit the ball long. I knew I had to believe in myself. It was a matter of one six. Five in the over, that is amazing. I tried to hit the leg-spinner, but unfortunately, I couldn’t. So I had to hit other bowlers.

KL Rahul, the KXIP captain, said

Look that is T20 cricket. We have seen this a lot of time. we need to keep our chin up. We did a lot of things right, but you have to give it to them. The game keeps you humble all the time. Under pressure, bowlers can make mistakes. We need to come back stronger.

I back my bowlers to do the job. It is okay to have one bad game. Good that it happened early in the tournament. We can come back stronger. Small ground, the total doesn’t really matter. Bowlers are going for runs in the back end.

Steve Smith, the RR captain, said

That was something else, wasn’t it? Generally, it gets wetter so I thought we were in with a chance at the halfway mark. A lot of sixes hit here. We gave ourselves the chance. Yeah good to get over the line. Gee, Sanju is striking the ball cleanly all over the ground. Taking pressure off everyone. We will have to adapt to the bigger grounds, but these shots would clear everywhere.

What we have seen from Tewatia in the nets is what we saw in that Cottrell over. I told someone as along as he gets one, floodgates will open. He showed heart. He told me during the timeout we still believe, Three sixes of Shami, three off Cottrell. Jofra again. First four balls sixes the other night. First two tonight. The bowlers did a great job. Looked like we would be chasing 250.

Sanju Samson, the Man of the Match, said

I have been hitting well from the last one year. I have been in the right frame of mind. Don’t see a change in my game. First of all, I was fed up with myself. I was trying hard but things were not happening. Then I worked hard. I asked myself what do I need to achieve? I told myself I have 10 years of this wonderful game in me, and I have to give everything to these 10 years. My family is supportive of that. The power comes from genes. My father is a very powerful man.