Rajasthan Royals (RR) banked on superb knock from 17-year-old Riyan Parag and then the hitting from Jofra Archer to seal the tie against Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets at the Eden Gardens. Following their thumping victory, Rajasthan skipper Steven Smith admitted that it was a complete team effort from the boys and seemed happy to cross the line at the end.
Chasing 176, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson gave a good start in the powerplays before losing the track. The Rajasthan batters failed to carry after getting starts as Kolkata nipped back in the game. Steven Smith admitted that they made things difficult before Riyan Parag and Jofra Archer won it for them in the last over. Parag scored 47 runs while Archer’s 12-ball 22 helped them clinch the tie. Smith hailed the young batsman Parag and praised Archer and Shreyas Gopal as well.
“We made it difficult for ourselves. We lost too many wickets in the middle section after a good start. Riyan Parag .. isn’t he an impressive young man? He played very composed like a seasoned campaigner. Great contribution from Gopal and Archer too,” Smith said at the end of the game.
Happy to get over the line: Smith
Previously, Rajasthan Royals new ball bowlers did an exceptional job with the ball to contain the star-studded Kolkata Knight Riders batting unit. But a late flurry from Dinesh Karthik helped them post 175 runs – which was not sufficient to secure a win. Steven Smith praised Varun Aaron and Oshane Thomas – playing their first game for Rajasthan, for doing a great job. He also added that the team is happy for securing another two points.
“I thought they bowled really well with the new ball, first 7-8 overs. Oshane did well in his first game. Varun Aaron was exceptional with the new ball. The boys did a great job. There were some really good shots from DK, who played a terrific inning. 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals will miss the service of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes as they leave to join the England side for the upcoming series and then the World Cup. Steven Smith admitted that there will be big shoes to fill. Smith; however, will depart after playing the 13th match of the group stages.
“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,” he concluded.