Rajasthan Royals kept their 2019 Indian Premier League campaign alive with a 7-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
England batsman Liam Livingston scored a 26-ball 44 as Sanju Samson top-scored with an unbeaten 48 runs from 32 balls to help Rajasthan reach the target with 5 balls to spare.
The win propelled RR over Kolkata Knight Riders to the sixth spot in the IPL 2019 points table. Rajasthan now have 5 wins from 12 games as compared to Kolkata’s 4 wins from 11 matches.
With two games to for RR, both away matches (against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals), Steve Smith feels they need to continue the momentum and win their games.
To stay in contention for a playoff berth, Rajasthan must win their remaining two games (vs RCB on April 30 and vs DC on May 4) and then hope for favourable results from other matches in the tournament.
“We need to continue winning and you never know,” Steve Smith said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Royals have had a resurgence in the recent matches after a rather tame start in the initial few games, and RR skipper Steve Smith was praised his team’s comeback.
“It was a good end to our home season, the boys pulled things back nicely,” Smith said.
“Playing together as a group and we’re winning those key moments. We have been fortunate in the last few games,” Smith added.
Rajasthan on Saturday got off to a whirlwind start as Liam Livingstone smoked the Hyderabad bowlers all around the park and that too on his IPL debut. He along with former captain Ajinkya Rahane got RR off to the perfect start, scoring 78 off 55 balls for the opening wicket, including picking up 60 runs off the first six powerplay overs.
Smith hailed the Englishman’s batting after the win, saying that his knock was crucial, and going onto heaped praise on Sanju Samson as well for seeing the team through.
“Liam Livingstone was magnificent as he played with freedom and got us off to a good start. Samson finished things off nicely,” Smith said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Smith was also awarded for taking David Warner’s catch, after which he seemed to grimace in pain. When asked about his elbow, which he had injured in the recently, Smith said it was nothing big and he is all right.
“Hopefully my arm is ok, it hurt initially because of the impact,” Smith said.
Smith went onto add that he hopes that Rajasthan can win the game against Bangalore as it will be his last this season before he flies off to join his Australia ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.
“I have got one more to play in Bangalore, it’ll be nice to finish on a winning note. Hopefully, the boys will play well in Bangalore as well,” Smith said.