Rajasthan Royals (RR) picked up their second win in IPL 2021 thanks to a brilliant all-round bowling performance complemented by composed knocks from captain Sanju Samson (42*) and David Miller (24*), which helped them get the better of a hapless KKR by six wickets.
Having restricted Eoin Morgan's side to a below par 133/9 after Chris Morris (4/23) led the show with the ball, the RR batsmen batted steadily on a not-so-typical Wankhede wicket to make a tricky run chase look easy in the end.
Why Rajasthan put David Miller to bat at No. 6
David Miller, who was held back to bat at No. 6 rather than his usual No. 5 position, revealed that it was a tactical decision by the Royals' management to promote allrounder Rahul Tewatia ahead of him.
Speaking during the post-match interview, David Miller explained:
"In T20 cricket, everything happens rather fast. It was a tactical decision (batting down the order), and it came off well tonight. The key is to finish off games. I will not mind batting anywhere, just want to help the team win. Tewatia is a local and he plays the spinners well, brings out the sweeps and reverse sweeps (hence batted ahead).
Although the move did not work out as Tewatia (five off eight balls) was done in by a Prasidh Krishna bouncer to leave RR at 100/4 in 13.4 overs, the experienced David Miller ensured there was no chance of a KKR fightback by delivering a steady 24-run knock to finish things off in the company of his skipper.
Speaking about his unbeaten innings, which took 23 balls and contained three boundaries, David Miller said:
"The body gave in towards the back end, but it was nice to finish off the match well. It was a nice wicket, although the cutters were holding up a bit and I couldn't get bat on ball at the start, it was good to finish it off. Sanju batted extremely well, like he's been doing since the first game. Came in and showed what he's got.
It was an important win for Rajasthan after the 10-wicket mauling they received at the hands of Virat Kohli's rampaging RCB in their last game.
Coming after such a dispiriting loss, the win will have certainly given them a much-needed confidence boost. It also lifted them up off the bottom of the table as they moved into sixth position with four points from five games.
Terming it as a clinical performance which will help their confidence into the next game, David Miller said:
"It was a good team performance, nice and clinical. We have a good bunch of guys and a great set-up, there was a lot of positive energy tonight, today was a big win and we'll take confidence into the next game and hopefully get onto a nice little run."