The Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) registered a spectacular three-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday. In the first innings, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik stole the show with his scintillating knock to power his team towards a pretty challenging first innings total. In reply, the visitors got off to an explosive start, but the KKR spinners pulled things back very efficiently.
However, towards the end, RR’s young duo of Riyan Parag and Jofra Archer batted amazingly well to snatch an unbelievable victory from almost the jaws of defeat. With this win, the Royals have also managed to retain its playoffs hopes as well.
He played like a seasoned campaigner
After the game, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith heaped praises on young Riyan Parag and mentioned that he is an impressive performer. Parag announced himself in IPL 2019 with a vital knock of 47 runs off 31 balls which consisted of 5 fours and 2 sixes. Smith noted that the 17-year-old looked like a seasoned campaigner while playing under immense pressure in yesterday’s game.
“Riyan Parag .. isn’t he an impressive young man? He played very composed like a seasoned campaigner,” quoted Steve Smith on the youngster’s performance.
We made it difficult for ourselves
Chasing a stiff target of 176 runs, the two RR openers, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson kicked off things in a blazing manner, smacking 30 runs in the first three overs. Within absolutely no time, the duo brought up half-century opening stand in the fifth over to provide a solid platform at the top. The KKR spin bowling pair of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla then helped their team stage a definite comeback, removing both the RR openers with 57 runs on the board in 6.3 overs.
Narine and Chawla never backed down after those two wickets and then also dismissed the likes of Steve Smith and Ben Stokes as well. Smith mentioned that with the fall of quick wickets, they made it difficult for themselves.
“We made it difficult for ourselves. We lost too many wickets in the middle section after a good start. Happy to get over the line. The first 5-6 games, we weren’t able to creep over the line. It’s good to creep over the line tonight,” Smith added.
Smith’s RR teammates, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes have already left for England due to international commitments, while the former Aussie skipper stated that he will be leaving for national duty after the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on April 30.
“We lose a few players now. Jofra and Stokesy are off tonight, they go back to England now – two big holes to fill. I am here for 13 games. After the Bangalore one, I’ll be heading back. Hopefully, I can contribute and see if we can get few more wins,” the RR skipper concluded.