Sharjah [UAE], September 28 (ANI): After registering a four-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith said all-rounder Rahul Tewatia's five sixes off Sheldon Cottrell's over brought them back in the game.
Chasing a mammoth target of 224, Rajasthan Royals were required 51 off 18 deliveries. Cottrell's 18th over changed the momentum of the game as Tewatia smashed five sixes in that over.
He smashed the first six over the long leg, second at the short square boundary, third over wide long-off and fourth over midwicket. Finally, Cottrell got luck and Tewatia missed the slower ball wide outside off. On the last ball of the over, Tewatia smacked a wide length ball over midwicket for another six.
"That was some chase! Tewatia, that was some sort of display against Cottrell. We got an idea about the conditions here in the last game. It's a small ground, we always thought if we have wickets in the shed we always have a chance," Smith told host broadcaster Star Sports after the match.
"Samson is hitting sixes at will at the moment. We saw in the nets that he was hitting the ball like he did in that over to Cottrell. Credit to him. Three sixes off Cottrell would have got us back in that game, that's great self-belief. Looked like we could be chasing over 250 at one point, credit to the bowlers for pulling things back," he added.
Sanju Samson also played a brilliant knock as he amassed 85 runs off 42 balls including seven sixes and four fours. He was awarded Player of the Match for setting the stage in IPL's highest run chase.
Smith scored a half-century. Jofra Archer scored 13* runs off three balls in the end while Tom Curran remained unbeaten on 4* runs.
Talking about his knock Tewatia said the first 20 balls were the worst he ever faced as he failed to score big runs on those deliveries. However, he got confidence after getting his first boundary.
"Now, I'm better. That was the worst first 20 balls that I have ever played. I was hitting the ball very good in the nets, so I had a belief in myself and kept going. I was not hitting the ball well initially, I saw in the dug-out, everybody was curious because they know that I can hit the ball long. I thought I had to believe in myself. It was a matter of one six, after that, I got going," Tewatia said after the conclusion of the game.
"Five in an over went amazing. Coach sent me to hit sixes off the leg-spinner, but unfortunately, I did not hit him. Ultimately, I hit off the other bowlers," he added.
Earlier, Mayank Agarwal's maiden IPL ton guided the side to 223/2 in their allotted twenty overs.
Agarwal and KL Rahul scripted the highest opening stand for Punjab in the tournament's history. The duo had a 183-run stand for the first wicket. Agarwal and Rahul also registered the second-highest opening stand in the IPL.
Previously, Adam Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty had the record of the highest opening stand for KXIP. They had 136 runs for the opening wicket against Deccan Chargers (now SunRisers Hyderabad) in Hyderabad.
Agarwal played a knock of 106 runs off 50 balls including seven sixes and 10 fours. He was dismissed by Tom Curran in the 17th over.
In the next over, Rahul too departed after scoring 69 runs with a striker rate of 127.77. He was scalped by Ankit Rajpoot.
Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran played some good hand in the last overs and remained unbeaten on 13* and 25* runs respectively.
Rajasthan Royals will next take on Kolkata Knight Riders on September 30 while Punjab will play against Mumbai Indians on October 1. (ANI)