Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith was “disappointed” with the death over bowling but praised the “magnificent” partnership between Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson against Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
Rajasthan chased down the target of 196 with eight wickets in hand and balls to spare. Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson played knocks of 107 and 54 respectively. The duo stitched an unbeaten stand of 152 runs to take the Royals over the line in a must-win game.
Smith said the wicket was good and the ball came nicely at the bat. The skipper said the performance was up to the mark and hopefully they would carry the confidence in the upcoming games.
“It was a good wicket the ball coming nicely at the bat, so I thought it was very chaseable. I thought we started off with good intent. Stoksey (Ben Stokes) was magnificent from the outset tonight, he took the game on and played really good cricket shots and hit the ball hard in the gaps,” said Smith in the post-match press conference.
“Our performance tonight was outstanding. Our batting for sensational, Sanju, and Stokes partnership was magnificent. In earlier games, we’ve not been able to put it together and that’s what we’re crying for. Hopefully, we can carry forward this confidence into the next games,” he added.
Prior to this match, the England all-rounder hadn’t smashed a single six in the showpiece event. Stokes got started but wasn’t able to capitalise on it.
“He was suffering in a couple of games with a sore back but I thought his intent from ball one today was magnificent. He came out and played some really nice cricket shots and took the game on and got himself going. Once he going he was hard to stop. I’m pleased that they were able to close the game out,” said Smith.
Stokes and Samson put together an unbeaten partnership of 152 runs. With this win, Rajasthan Royals has now moved to sixth place in the points table with 10 points.
Despite the win, Smith said there were certain parameters like death over bowling and fielding which needs to be improved.
“We were a bit disappointed with our death over bowling. We dropped another catch, our fielding hasn’t been up to the mark. That dropped catch was probably a 45 runs swing in the end. Hardik just went beserk in the end,” said the skipper.
Rajasthan Royals will next lock horns with Kings XI Punjab on Friday, October 30 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. (ANI)