Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020


IPL 2020: Rahul Tewatia and Sanju Samson help Rajasthan Royals hit Kings XI Punjab for a six during record chase

Rajasthan chase down 223 in the most successful second-innings effort in tournament's history

Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals smashed a quickfire fifty against Kings XI Punjab. Sportzpics for BCCI
Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals smashed a quickfire fifty against Kings XI Punjab. Sportzpics for BCCI

Rahul Tewatia played one of the most extraordinary innings in the history of the IPL to take Rajasthan Royals to a scarcely believable win over Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah.

Chasing a mammoth 224 to win, Rajasthan opted to send the little-heralded 27-year old up the order after a fast start by Steve Smith and Sanju Samson.

The first two-thirds of his innings were cringeworthy. He could barely connect with the ball at all. When he did, his shots barely made it to the edge of the 30-yard circle.

It left Rajasthan needing 84 from the last 30 balls, with Tewatia on strike against Sheldon Cottrell, one of the costliest bowlers in the competition.

All seemed lost. And then Tewatia took the Jamaican left-arm quick for five sixes in one over, and the Royals ended up reaching their target with three balls spare.

Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals and Steve Smith captain of Rajasthan Royals during match 9 season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on the 27th September 2020. Photo by: Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI
Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals hit a whirlwind 85 to help his team beat Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah on Sunday. Sportzpics for BCCI

It was the record for the highest run chase in the history of the IPL, sealed when Tom Curran clipped Murugan Ashwin over extra cover for four.

“Those were the worst 20 balls I have ever played,” Tewatia said.

He had made eight off his first 19 deliveries, yet ended with 53 from 31 balls.

“I was not hitting the ball well initially, but I had to believe in myself,” he said.

“It was just a matter of one six. After that, I thought it was now the time to go, and I got five in the over.”

The chase was set up by Samson’s 85 from 42 balls, and Smith’s 50 from 27 balls.

It had seemed far-fetched at halfway when Punjab finished on 223 for two from their 20 overs.

Mayank Agarwal continued his stunning form as he made his maiden IPL hundred, with KL Rahul hitting 69 as they shared in a stand worth 183 for the first wicket.

Updated: September 27, 2020 10:11 PM

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