Rahul Tewatia couldn’t put bat to ball in the first-half of his innings but nobody could believe what they saw when he finally managed to connect the first out of 7 sixes to help Rajasthan Royals pull off a miracle run-chase against Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah on Sunday.
IPL 2020’s Match 9 witnessed a first as the Royals chased down 224 with 3 balls to spare thanks to brilliant knocks from Sanju Samson, Steve Smith and Rahul Tewatia to register their second successive win.
Samson and Smith laid the foundation with their 81-run partnership but the captain’s dismissal brought Tewatia to the crease as the RR team management wanted a left-and-right-hand combination in the middle.
Samson was still going great guns from the other end but Tewatia was struggling to get going, and managed 8 runs from the first 19 balls he faced. The run rate climbed to over 14 per over when Samson got out for 85 in the 17th over.
That is when Tewatia suddenly found his touch back and smashed 45 runs from the next 12 balls he faced with 7 sixes, 5 of which he hit in the 17th over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell.
“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,” Tewatia said after the match.
He was eventually dismissed for 53 off 31 balls in the 19th over by Mohammed Shami. The job was already done by then as RR needed just 2 off the final over by the time Tewatia left the crease.