[Watch] IPL 2020: After 17 off 23, Rahul Tewatia smashes 5 sixes in an over to turn tables around vs RR
IPL 2020, RR vs KXIP: Rahul Tewatia blasted 5 sixes in one Cottrell over to change the game in a flash.
Rahul Tewatia turned the tables around in a span of eight deliveries during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 match between Rajasthan Royals (IPL 2020, RR vs KXIP:) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday.
Tewatia joined set batsman Sanju Samson in the ninth over during RR's chase of 224 in Sharjah. The Haryana batsman failed to hit a boundary in the first 19 balls he faced and he managed to score just 17 runs off his first 23 balls. However, the turning point for RR in the match was the 18th over that was bowled by Sheldon Cottrell and Tewatia was on the strike.
Making use of the first delivery's pace, Tewatia pulled it towards the backward square leg for a flat-six. The second ball also landed over the ropes, courtesy of another pull shot from Tewatia, who followed with another six, this time lofting over the long-off. Tewatia slogged the fourth delivery over mid-wicket for the fourth straight six of the over. The fifth ball was a dot, but Tewatia ended the Cottrell over with another maximum and as a result, RR added 30 runs off that single over.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Tewatia said that the 20-odd balls he had faced before the big over against Cottrell were the "worst" he had ever played.
"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 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. Five in an over went amazing. Coach sent me to hit sixes off the leg-spinner, but unfortunately, I didn't hit him. Ultimately, I hit off the other bowlers," added Tewatia, who was out for 31-ball 53.
RR registered the highest successful chase in the IPL when they chased down KXIP's target of 224 with four wickets and three balls to spare on Sunday. Before the Tewatia show, it was Sanju Samson, who won the Player of the Match, who led from the front as he scored an excellent 42-ball 85, including seven sixes and four boundaries. Even RR captain Steven Smith scored his second straight fifty of IPL 2020. He scored a quick-fire 27-ball 50, including two sixes and seven fours.
"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. Samson is hitting sixes at will at the moment. We saw in the nets that he was hitting the ball as 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," RR captain Smith said at the post-match interview.
Mayank Agarwal's maiden IPL ton went in vain as KXIP suffered their second loss in three matches in IPL 2020. He scored 106 off 50 balls, while he built a 183-run stand with Rahul in the first innings. Out of the 183-run partnership, Rahul scored 77 and Agarwal scored 106, which was also his second-highest T20 score after his maiden T20 ton (111 runs). Rahul and Agarwal's stand was also the second-highest opening partnership for KXIP after Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh's 206-run stand for the second wicket that the Aussie duo scored against RCB in IPL 2011.
KXIP next travel to Abu Dhabi to take on Mumbai Indians (MI) on Thursday, while RR head to Dubai to face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday.