Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 October 2020


IPL 2020: Rahul Tewatia brings Sharjah fireworks to Dubai as Rajasthan beat Hyderabad

Royals secure five-wicket win on Ben Stokes' comeback

Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals played a match-winning knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Sunday. Sportzpics for BCCI
Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals played a match-winning knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Sunday. Sportzpics for BCCI

An all-rounder who bats left-handed and bowls right-handed, who has a taste for the big stage, and a fiery temper returned to his match-winning best for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

And Ben Stokes was making his comeback, too.

Rahul Tewatia reprised the Sharjah heroics that had made him a household name earlier in this competition as he helped power Rajasthan to a thrilling win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.

Tewatia shared a rousing unbeaten alliance worth 85 from 49 balls with youngster Riyan Parag to take the Royals to a five-wicket win with a ball to spare.

It was the second time in recent weeks that Tewatia, who made 45 not out from 28 balls, has stolen then limelight from his more luminous colleagues.

His feats even overshadowed the return to the side of Stokes, who was rushed straight into the XI after completing his quarantine, which had followed compassionate leave in New Zealand.

Understandably, given he was so light on practice in the lead in, Stokes had a quiet game.

He bowled one over for seven runs, missed with a shy at the stumps in his one moment of note in the field, and fell for five from six balls after opening the innings for Rajasthan.

Instead, Tewatia did his best Stokes impression – so much so that he even ended the game having heated words with David Warner, the Hyderabad captain and frequent Stokes foe.

It appeared as though Warner was trying to calm Tewatia down, after the batsman had been angered by Khaleel Ahmed, the Hyderabad fast-bowler, during the tense final over.

Ben Stokes of Rajasthan Royals during match 26 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Rajasthan Royals held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the 11th October 2020. Photo by: Ron Gaunt / Sportzpics for BCCI
Ben Stokes of Rajasthan Royals was making his comeback following quarantine. Sportzpics for BCCI

“It was no big deal, we just got taken away in the heat of the moment,” Tewatia said.

The left-hander was named man of the match for his role in a win that was Rajasthan’s first following four consecutive defeats.

“The wickets were falling so I just wanted to hold one end up and wait for the boundary balls,” Tewatia said.

“I knew if I keep my self-belief and take it deep, I could pull it off.

“I told Riyan that the wicket was playing slow and the deeper we take it, the better our chances, even if we needed 50 off the last four because we have the shots.

“Riyan asked me what to do. I told him to respect the good balls and take singles, and I could take on the attack.”

Parag, for his part, was outstanding, too. With two needed for Rajasthan to overhaul Hyderabad’s total of 158-4, the 18-year-old right-hander launched a powerful cover-drive for six.

I dream of situations like this. Now, facing it, it feels a lot more real to me

Riyan Parag

He celebrated with a choreographed 'bihu' jig, as a nod to his roots in Assam in north-eastern India.

“I’m a big dreamer,” Parag, who finished on 42 from 26, said. “I dream of situations like this. Now, facing it, it feels a lot more real to me.

"Handling these situations, I love it. When the team needs me, I’m there to put my hand up.”

The sixth-wicket partnership by two inexperienced players was all the more vital for Rajasthan given their big-name batsmen had misfired.

Stokes and captain Steve Smith were out for single-figure scores. Jos Buttler went for 16, while Sanju Samson and Robin Uthappa were both undone by the excellence of Rashid Khan.

“Any loss is difficult, but this especially as we were in a good position three-quarters of the way through the match,” Trevor Bayliss, the Hyderabad coach, said.

“There were a lot of good things we did throughout this match. We just have to concentrate on those positives, and work on some of the negatives and make them better next time.

“Towards the end there, they had a couple of guys that batted extremely well. Under pressure, we failed to execute perfectly.

“There seemed to be that one ball an over in the last three, four or five overs, that they got away for a boundary. If we could have taken a little bit more time and thought about it, and saved those boundaries, the result could have been a bit different.”

Updated: October 11, 2020 07:02 PM

Sign up to our daily email