Following his side’s 10-run loss to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson that he expected slow and low conditions at Jaipur and a team needs to play “smart cricket” to win, which their side did till the ninth over following which they lost the direction due to some early wickets.
Avesh Khan’s last-over heroics sealed the 10-run victory for Lucknow Super Giants against Rajasthan Royals in a thrilling encounter in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday.
“Not that great (feeling) after a loss, but it is okay. We would have loved to win the first game at Jaipur. We will definitely take lessons and move on. With the batting line-up we have, it was a very chaseable score. But they bowled really well, used the conditions really well. (Conditions) Personally, I was expecting something like this, a bit of slow and low kind of wicket is what I expected and we got that. You need to play some smart cricket and we did that till the ninth over,” said Samson in a post-match presentation.
“Right after Jaiswal got out, it was a matter of getting that one big partnership. They bowled really well, whenever we tried to go hard at them, I think we lost wickets. Even if you win or lose a game, you take lessons from it, that is the beauty of this game. We will be taking a lot of lessons from it. We did a reasonably good job of restricting them to 150. There are lots of lessons on the bowling side as well and in the batting also. We expect a much better performance and we all know the standard of cricket we have been playing. We have to move forward and play some better cricket,” added the skipper.
After being put to bat first by RR, LSG posted 154/7 in their 20 overs. Kyle Mayers (51 in 42 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes) and Rahul (39 in 32 balls, with four boundaries and a six) added 82 runs for the first wicket. Following that, LSG lost some quick wickets but a 45-run stand for the fifth wicket between Nicholas Pooran (29 in 20 balls, with two fours and a six) and Marcus Stoinis (21 off 16 balls with two fours) helped LSG reach a modest total.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for RR, taking 2/23 in four overs. Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder also took one wicket each while delivering economical spells.
In the chase of 155, RR started strongly, posting 87 run partnership for the first wicket. Openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (44 in 35 balls with four boundaries and two sixes) and Jos Buttler (40 off 41 balls, with four boundaries and a six) did not play their usual aggressive cricket but still laid down a good foundation.
However, the run-out of skipper Sanju Samson (2) changed the match, giving LSG a chance to make comeback with some quick wickets. Even the finisher Shimron Hetmyer (2) failed with the bat. Devdutt Padikkal (26 in 21 balls, with four boundaries) and Riyan Parag (15* in 12 balls) tried to win it for their side, but fell 10 runs short, finishing at 144/6 in their 20 overs.
Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers for LSG, making a comeback with a spell of 3/25 in four overs. Stoinis also took 2/28 in his three overs.
Stoinis was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his all-round performance.
Despite this loss, RR retains its top spot in the points table, having won four matches and lost two. They have a total of eight points. Though LSG has the same win-loss record and points as RR, an inferior net-run-rate has them placed second in the points table.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 144/6 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 44, Jos Buttler 40 and Avesh Khan 3/25) vs Lucknow Super Giants and Lucknow Super Giants 154/7 (Kyle Mayers 51, KL Rahul 39 and Ravichandran Ashwin 2/23) vs Rajasthan Royals. (ANI)