Former champions Rajasthan Royals put an end to the victory of Kings XI Punjab’s Vijay Rath in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) and won by 7 wickets on Friday. Rajasthan captain Steve Smith, after keeping his hopes of a place in the play-off alive, said it would have been better if his team had scored a few more wins in the middle of the league.
Smith also said that his team might be showing their top game at the right time but the Royals chased down the target of 186 runs by Toques XI Punjab, Ben Stokes (50), Sanju Samson (48), captain Steve Smith (not out) 31) and thanks to Robin Uthappa (30) innings, scored an easy victory by scoring 186 runs for three wickets in 17.3 overs. Jose Butler also remained unbeaten after scoring 22 off 11 balls.
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Earlier, Chris Gayle took advantage of two lives and made a 99-run stand off 63 balls with eight sixes and six fours, besides sharing a 120-run partnership with Lokesh Rahul (46) for the second wicket, which gave Punjab a four-wicket haul. Scored 185.
The Royals team started with two consecutive wins and now registered their second consecutive win but Smith said it would have been better if he had won a few more matches in the middle of the tournament. Smith said after the match, ‘For us this tournament was full of ups and downs. It would have been better if we had a few more wins in the middle tournament. We still have to show a better game to make it to the play-offs and at the same time things should be in our favor.
“We have registered two consecutive wins and are probably showing our top game at the right time,” he said. Smith also said that the run-out of Sanju Samson was disappointing but one should try to see the positive side of every situation.
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Smith said, “This gave Jose Butler a chance to bat five days later. He played good shots which is a good sign. Smith praised Stokes and Samson fiercely, saying, ‘Ben is a world class player, he plays the right shot, is able to hit the ball everywhere and does his job with the ball as well. One of the best players in the world. Sanju made a great start to the tournament but could not score runs in the middle matches but it happens in T20 cricket.