RR(Riyan & Rahul) rescue RR to complete the SRH decimation
‘Doing a Tewatia’ is a phrase that has become a part of the cricketing pop lingo culture over the last two weeks. It simply refers to a remarkable turnaround, when a cricketer turns a seemingly impossible situation around. By that metric, Rahul Tewatia didn’t exactly ‘do a Tewatia’ on Sunday but he was on hand to play a starring role in yet another Royal turaround.
In terms of the equation, the task wasn’t as hard as the demons, personal and the opposition, he conquered against Kings XI Punjab more than two weeks ago. The circumstances were different and so were the challenges. But this time though, he had someone equally impressive at the other end.
This was an extremely important game for Riyan Parag who has been in and out of the side too much. After impressing in his role as a finisher in IPL 2019 for the Royals, he was touted as one to watch out for. Only 17 last year, Parag displayed maturity that belied his age and came up with some handy knocks. However, the golden-boy Parag quickly became the fall guy Parag at the start of IPL 2020 as the Royals lurched from one defeat to the next.
Rahul Tewatia has risen up the ranks this season so much so that Indians have officially requested the dictionary writers to define Houdini act as an Act performed by Rahul Tewatia. Rajasthan Royals when they took the field last evening, lost the toss on a wearing down Dubai wicket where a game was already played less than 24 hours ago. It was inevitable for a team to expect the strip to slow down as the game progressed and hence Warner had no hesitation in batting first as has been the new normal off late in the tournament.
SRH were slow off the blocks on accounts by great display of fast bowling by Archer and the young Kartik Tyagi. Bairstow fell to a flying Samson who plucked one out of the air to remove the in form SRH opener. Warner and Pandey then batted sensibly to kept strolling towards the 15 over mark with caution and then changed gears towards the end. In the process both of them holed out and SRH were looking at Kane and Priyam to power them to a respectable total. Kane Williamson has time and again proved that a perfect technique always liberates you, no matter what the situation. Aided by sensational hitting by Priyam, Kane mastered a decent finish and took SRH to 158, a total they had a chance of defending on a slow(ish) wicket.
Shane Warne had Joined the RR camp Just before this game and it was evident after he tried playing the first trick of sending Ben Stokes to open the innings along with Jos Butler. But the move backfired almost instantly. In no time RR were 3 down and the result was evident. Samson and Robin then played anchor role and tried closing in towards the target but Rashid Khan sent both back and the Halla Bol army were quickly silenced.
A loss in this game would have meant RR popping away from contention but it was then Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia decided to turn the tide. With the equation reading 64 off 27 at one point and a Rashid Khan over in hand, SRH were confident but the chase was so far down the Dhoni territory that the bowlers actually starting crumbling. Sandeep was taken for 20 runs and soon 38 off 18 was what the equation read. It was at this point, all hell broke lose. Rashid Khan was treated like a part timer by Rahul Tewatia been reverse swept twice and hammered over covers for 3 back to back boundaries.
The game was now strongly within Royal’s grasp and it was then the heavy LED bails came to their rescue. Fortune favours the brave, they said. Well said.
Riyan Parag heaved one over the covers for a 6 to finish the game for RR and complete the Heist with an unforeseen Bihu dance celebration. Rahul Tewatia on the other hand announced his composure back to the world that once before undermined him and completed the turnaround.
Smith will hope the win sets the entire team up for a good finish to the tournament. He and the management may have made one too many teaks to that batting order so far. But with Tewatia, and now Parag, showing they could be trusted upon, the big batsmen at the top may just break free from their shackles and turn on their best.
Here are some key takeaways from the game:
- Win the toss, look to boss: Winning the toss at Dubai has become very crucial and SRH would rue of being over cautious in the middle which probably kept them off track from getting a big total. A 170+ total is an ideal par total on the wicket and teams must eye that after winning the toss.
- SRH’s lack of bowling and fielding depth: SRH started the tournament with batting problems and now having that sorted they have issues to address in bowling and fielding front. Natrajan who has otherwise been good lacked the fire this game and Sandeep needs to find the right mojo to bowl in the deaths. Priyam Garg dropped Parag at a crucial stage and perhaps that cost them the game as well.
- Robin or Jaiswal for opening: RR have tried a lot of things in the tournament and their woes continue. They need a resilient middle order and a strong top order. Robbie might be able to solve their batting woes at the top and Stokes in the middle can solve a lot of problems if Smith and Samson are firing at 3 and 4.
Twitterati went berserk over Tewatia and Riyan Parag after the game last evening. Here are the best tweets from the game.