Kolkata, May 24: Stressing that they needed one of the top four batsmen to stay at the crease till the end, skipper Ajinkya Rahane said with so many wickets in hand, Rajasthan Royals should have won against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Eliminator here.
Chasing 170 for a place in the Qualifier 2, the Royals on Wednesday were 87/1 after 10 overs with Rahane and Sanju Samson looking good for a match-winning partnership.
But then they—particularly Rahane—got stuck against spin and left their weak middle order with too much to do, eventually losing by 25 runs as they managed 144/4 in 20 overs.
While Samson (50 off 38) was removed by Piyush Chawla, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav got rid of Rahane (46 off 41).
“We thought 170 was chaseable. We needed partnerships and we got those partnerships initially with (Rahul) Tripathi and then me and Sanju Samson. We needed one batsman to bat throughout those 19-20 overs and we did not do that,” Rahane told reporters at the post-match press conference.
“Unfortunately Sanju got out in the 17th over and that was the reason I felt...when you are chasing 170 in a pressure game you need one batsman from top 4 to bat through the innings,” Rahane added.
Rahane said Andre Russell—who hit an unbeaten 25-ball 49 to propel KKR to 169/7 after a disastrous start—played fearless cricket.
“We had the self-belief I felt. Initially, the way we started with the ball. Our fast bowlers, the spinners...getting those 4-5 initial wickets was crucial,” said Rahane.
“But credit goes to (Andre) Russell..the way he batted, played fearless cricket. But again we started off really well. First six overs, we were 50/1 then after second timeout (14th over), we needed seven overs and 60 odd runs. When you have eight to nine wickets in hand you generally end up getting those runs,” Rahane added. IANS