Today, in this article, we try to decode the most successful run chase in IPL, a chase that happened last night. Also, we find how a batsman who was unable to even put bat to ball, was able to strike one of the most successful finishing act in the history of Indian Premier League. We talk about Rahul Tewatia and the Rajasthan Royals team which came out winners chasing a mammoth 224 target last night against Kings XI Punjab.
The Day started with Kings XI Punjab batting first and Mayank Agrawal & KL Rahul registering the third highest opening partnership in IPL history, 183, behind Warner-Bairstow 185 on same day in 2019 and Gambhir-Chris Lynn 184 against Gujarat Lions in 2017. Kings finished at 223/2 from their 20 overs with Mayank scoring second fastest IPL century (off 45 balls) by any Indian player and KL Rahul scoring 69 off 54. Mayank finished at 106 off 50 balls.
Nicholas Pooran did the final act with an 8 ball 25 to take the Kings to 223 from 50 overs. Score was such that expecting a one-sided win wasn’t a bad expectation from Captain KL Rahul. What happened is something we discuss below.
The Most Successful Run Chase in IPL
223 seemed impossible when Rajasthan Royals came into bat, but Steve Smith had a plan to execute and it went fine until Jos Buttler departed off a shot that went straight into the hands of Sarfaraz Khan. In came Sanju Samson who looked to start from where he had left in the last match.
Samson and Smith went ahead with the perfect plan to execute the chase and compiled an 81 runs partnership for the second wicket before Smith was caught at deep cover off Neesham.
The Phenomenon Called Rahul Tewatia
When Rahul Tewatia was sent in after fall of Steve Smith, people were expecting an experienced Robin Uthappa, someone who had been instrumental to some of the exciting run chases in history. And it looked going disastrous as Tewatia struggled to put bat to balls. Sanju Samson, on the other hand, was in sublime touch.
Soon, Rahul’s struggle with bat would increase pressure on Sanju Samson and he would try to manufacture shots to up the scoring rate, some hitting far and wide, mistiming others. His innings was cut short with one try for an upper cut above the wicket-keeper’s head that ended in the gloves of KL Rahul. By that time Rahul Tewatia was unable to put bat to ball and already been on a thrashing by fans on social media handles.
Robin Uthappa came into bat after departure of Sanju Samson, and started to make his bat do the talking and in a way took 12 off the over of Mohd Shami which got rid of Sanju Samson, two singles coming from Rahul Tewatia.
Next over was 18th and Royals needed 51 from 18. A win from here was highly unlikely, as even expressed by experts, but then Rahul had a different plan altogether. In an utter shock to fans who were trolling him over social media and experts who had started rating this innings of his among the worst in crunch situation, Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes from 6 balls of 18th over of Sheldon Cottrell.
Sharjah was witnessing an amazing turnaround and betting markets must have gone crazy after this over. Such was the hitting! Someone, who earlier faced difficulties putting bat to balls, was hitting all over the park. And it changed the match into the most successful run chase in IPL.
Thrill was still not over, though, as Uthappa played straight into the hands of long off the very next delivery of Mohd. Shami. In came Jofra Archer, who hit two tall sixes off the next two deliveries. A single brought Tewatia on strike, who connected an upper cut over the boundary ropes. With this shot he made his half-century (coming off 31 balls). But he departed the next ball, the last ball of 19th over.
The game was into the final over and RR needed just 2 off 6 balls. Riyan Parag was out for a second ball duck on the second ball. Tom Curran hit the next ball of Murugan Ashwin and the most successful run chase in IPL was a reality.
IPL 2020 has been game to some of the astounding performances, KL Rahul, a match earlier for his team, hit the highest score by an Indian in IPL history.
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