Updated: October 26, 2020 11:00:37 am
Courtesy Pandya’s (60 off 21 balls) blitzkrieg, Mumbai put up an imposing 195 for five but Stokes and Samson made light work of the target, conjuring a match-winning unbroken 152-run second wicket stand to take Rajasthan home with 10 balls to spare.
Hope this hundred gives family some happiness in difficult time: Ben Stokes
Rajasthan Royals’ star England all-rounder Ben Stokes is hoping that his swashbuckling return to form with a hundred would not just rejuvenate his side but also give some happiness to his family as it copes with his father Ged’s battle with brain cancer.
“It’s a bit difficult at the moment, things are a bit tough back at home, hopefully, this will give them some happiness,” Stokes told official broadcaster ‘Star Sports’ in the post-match presentation.
Stokes, who missed the early part of the tournament to be with his father in New Zealand, said he was relieved to finally come to the party after a sluggish start in the opening role.
“Sort of bittersweet to be honest – it took so long to get one for the team. I would have preferred to get this form two or three games before when we weren’t relying on other results to get us through to the qualifiers,” he said.
“Came into the game with a lot more confidence than the other games. Nice to spend some time out in the middle and finish the game off. The ball was coming on nicely – be it short or full.”
Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith described the partnership between Stokes and Samson as “sensational” and said the eight-wicket win was just the kind of result they needed to get their IPL campaign back on track.
“Very pleased, that’s what we were crying for, two of our experienced players take the game deep and the way I think those two (Stokes and Samson) finished it off today and played was sensational, so very pleased,” Smith said.
“I thought that partnership with him (Stokes) and Sanju was sensational,” added the Australian.
Smith said that his team was lacking match-winning contributions from experienced players, which it finally got against Mumbai.
“I hope our batters from tonight take a bit of confidence and momentum into the next game.
“That is what we have lacked, our experienced players going on to make match-winning contributions and getting the team close to home or home, as they did tonight, so I thought the guys did a fantastic job and hopefully we can take that into the next two games,” he said.
Losing skipper Kieron Pollard conceded that Mumbai were unable to contain the destructive duo of Stokes and Samson.
“Sometimes in life you have to do that (say well played to the opposition). They batted fantastically well. But 195/5 at half-time, I thought Hardik brought us back into the game, but well played to Stokes and Samson,” said Pollard.
“We got a couple of early wickets but were not able to capitalise on that. When you play a game of cricket, someone has to win and someone has to lose and we ended on the losing side this time around,” added the West Indian.
Our bowlers had not much options, it was their skills and execution: Hardik
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya said their bowlers were left with “not much options” against the marauding duo of Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson, who executed their skills to perfection to guide Rajasthan Royals to a eight-wicket win here.
“Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition as well, and I feel that they really batted well. Our bowlers had not much to do; it was their skills and execution, which worked for them…they were better today in batting,” Pandya said at the post-match press conference.
The Baroda player, who smashed seven sixes and two fours, said they had enough runs on board and gave credit to Stokes and Samson for successfully chasing down the score.
“Hitting sixes is fun, which I enjoyed. I thought we got enough runs, initially when the second strategic time-out happened we were looking more at 165-170, and obviously we got 25 runs more, which I thought was enough but credit goes to Stokes and Sanju, they really batted well,” he said.
According to Pandya, luck was also on Rajasthan’s side as multiple inside and outside edges flew to the boundary.
“They took their chances and I think even luck was there on their side … actually multiple inside and outside edges went for boundaries. But having said that, they still played some outstanding shots, which I don’t think our bowlers had much options to do,” he said.
Despite the hammering, Mumbai sit at the top of the top of the table with 14 points and Pandya said the team should focus on finishing in the top-two spot.
“I feel from this game we should rectify our mistake, and the other things we didn’t do and focus on the positives,” he said.
“We are still sitting at number one, we need to play a couple of good games and we should be focussing on getting the top two position and keep focussing,” he signed off.
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