Against the Kings XI Punjab in the eighth match of IPL 2020, Rajasthan Royals' leg-spinning all-rounder Rahul Tewatia was promoted up the order to provide some fireworks after Steve Smith got out after scoring a half-century.
However, the left-handed Haryana cricketer struggled to put bat to ball and even disturbed the run-chase for the Royals against KXIP. With some very lethargic batting, Tewatia almost reduced the Royal chase to a laughable stage. So much so that the no one could have fathomed RR making a comeback from there.
The chase was so adversely affected by Tewatia (first eight runs off 19 deliveries) that even Samson, who scored yet another half-century, lost his concentration. However, the runs from the last four overs of the game made all the difference.
With five sixes off Sheldon Cottrell's 18th over, Tewatia single-handedly changed the course of the chase completely. It was a phenomenal effort which ultimately led to the highest ever run-chase in the history of IPL on Sunday night.
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Rahul Tewatia outperforms KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal
In total, Tewatia struck seven sixes and was the main reason behind the turn-around. His knock stole all the spotlight, so much so that Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, who have become the talk of the town with their exploits with the willow as openers, were left behind.
KXIP found themselves on the wrong side of luck for the second time in last three games. A few days back, Mayank's heroics were denied the spotlight after a DC victory in the Super Over, while today, RR's miraculous run-chase stole the headlines.
No doubt, Mayank and skipper Rahul out-batted RR, with the former scoring a scintillating century. “I am a lot calmer now,” - Mayank told the official broadcaster after his knock.
Both Mayank and Rahul were so good on this day that even the best of T20 bowlers wouldn’t have managed to stop them. It wasn't that the duo were riding their luck, but rather, it was a clinical execution of top batting.
It’s not often that Rahul is put in the shades but Mayank did it on Sunday. Mayank’s 45-ball century and Rahul’s enigmatic knock are also a telling statement to the BCCI - who turned a blind eye to a short-run decision - that hitting hard is what the Kings stand for this season.
What is mind boggling is that most of Mayank’s scoring shots were straight out of the coaching manual. Once in a while, there were a few horizontal shots to unsettle the opponents, otherwise, the shots were so good that even Rahul was playing the supporting role.
However, on the day, fans were treated to one of the most stunning run-chases by RR. And, one man who played a big role in their push for a win was Tewatia. The same man who struggled to put bat to ball in his first 20 balls. It's all about the law of averages, isn't it?Published 28 Sep 2020, 00:14 IST