Steve Smith lauds Rajasthan Royals team-mates after record-breaking IPL chase


Steve Smith’s Rajasthan Royals completed a record-breaking IPL chase (Picture: IPL)

Steve Smith hailed his Rajasthan Royals side after they completed a record-breaking Indian Premier League chase to secure a stunning victory over Kings XI Punjab.

Rajasthan completed the highest chase in IPL history after knocking off Kings XI Punjab’s 223-2 with four wickets and three balls to spare.

Mayank Agarwal scored a brilliant century for Kings XI and shared an 183-run partnership with KL Rahul to post a formidable total.

But contributions from Sanju Samson (85) and Rahul Tewatia (53) and a late cameo from Jofra Archer (13 not out) saw Rajasthan pull off a remarkable win in Sharjah.

Australia batsman Smith said: ‘That was something else, wasn’t it? I thought we were in with a chance at the halfway mark.

‘It’s great to get over the line. Sanju is striking the ball cleanly all over the ground and that takes pressure off everyone else.’

Rajasthan batsman Tewatia made a poor start to his innings but exploded late on, hitting West Indies bowler Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in one over to get the Royals back in the match.

Smith added: ‘What we have seen from Tewatia in the nets is what we saw in that Cottrell over. I told someone as along as he gets one, floodgates will open. He showed heart.’

After Samson and Tewatia were both dismissed, England World Cup winner Archer smashed consecutive sixes to condemn Kings XI Punjab to a shock defeat.

Kings XI skipper Rahul said: ‘Look, that is T20 cricket. We need to keep our heads up.

‘We did a lot of things right, but you have to give it to them. The game keeps you humble all the time. Under pressure, bowlers can make mistakes.

‘We need to come back stronger. I back my bowlers to do the job. It is okay to have one bad game and it’s better that it happened early in the tournament.’

Rajasthan Royals return to action on Wednesday against Kolkata Knight Riders, while Kings XI Punjab will hope to bounce back on Thursday against Mumbai Indians.

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