Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Rahul Tewatia, who scored 45 off 28 and played a match-winning knock along with Riyan Parag, said that the team’s plan was to attack the SunRisers Hyderabad bowlers in the last three overs and take the match as close as possible.
Chasing a moderate target of 159, Rajasthan had the worst possible start as they lost three early wickets in the powerplay. Robin Uthappa (18) and Sanju Samson (26) failed to convert their starts to a big total.
Parag played a knock of 42 off 26 balls including two sixes. Tewatia and Parag played cautiously in the starting and then changed gear in the last five overs. The duo started taking on Hyderabad bowlers from 17th over as they scored 18 off it.
In the next over, Tewatia added 14 runs off Rashid. The duo added a massive 85-run match-winning stand for the side. Tewatia scored 45 off 28 while Parag smashed 42 including two sixes.
For Hyderabad, Rashid Khan, and Khaleel Ahmed scalped two wickets each.
“We were trying to take the match as deep as possible. Our plan was to attack in the last three overs and take the match as close as possible,” Tewatia said in the post-match press conference.
“Our top-order is very strong but they are not clicking from the last two-three games but we believe in them as they are top-class players. When they get out early, middle-order batsmen have to take that responsibility and execute plans for the side,” he added.
All-rounder Ben Stokes, playing in his first game of the tournament, failed to impress with the bat as he opened the innings along with Jos Buttler. He scored five runs and bowled an over too in which he gave seven runs.
“Stokes’ arrival boosts the morale of the side. His intensity and presence on the ground matters a lot and adds confidence to the team. Stokes opening the innings was decided by the team management,” Tewatia said.
Earlier, skipper David Warner and Manish Pandey’s knocks guided Hyderabad to 159/4 in their 20 overs. Warner scored 48 runs while Pandey amassed 54 runs. Meanwhile, Pandey completed his 3,000 runs in the IPL.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson also did his bit as he played a cameo towards the end with an unbeaten 22 off 12 balls that included two sixes. With Pandey getting out in the 18th over, it was crucial for Williamson to ensure that SRH finish well.
Rajasthan Royals are at the sixth spot with six points in seven games so far. They will next play against Delhi Capitals in Dubai on October 14.