IPL 2020, KXIP vs RR: Ben Stokes registered his 2nd IPL half-century.© BCCI/IPL
Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Steve Smith was full of praise for England cricketer Ben Stokes who made his presence felt in a seven-wicket triumph against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Stokes completed a stunning catch in the first over off KXIP opener Mandeep Singh, after the Punjab-based side was sent in to bat by Smith who won the toss. He followed it up with the key dismissals of KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran, to help restrict KXIP to 185 despite a 63-ball 99 by Windies superstar Chris Gayle. Stokes further made a massive impact as an opener during the chase, smashing a 26-ball 50. The Englishman’s innings comprising of six boundaries and three sixes set the stage for a comfortable win, in a do-or-die encounter for Rajasthan.
“Ben is a class player, plays proper shots, hits balls in weird areas, and did a job with the ball too. One of the best in the world,” said Smith during the post-match conference when asked to discuss the game-changing performance by his all-rounder.
The Australian cricketer further termed Jos Buttler’s handy knock of 22 runs off 11 deliveries as a “good sign”.
“The Samson run-out was unfortunate, but you take positives from every situation. It gave Jos a chance to bat after a five-day break. He hit them well so this is a good sign,” he added.
KXIP skipper Rahul termed losing the toss as a “horrible” thing considering the dew factor.
“It was a horrible toss to lose with the amount of dew later on. It did get very very easy to bat on. The wristspinners want the ball to be dry and get some grip off the surface but with the dew it got really difficult,” he stated while discussing the defeat which snapped his side’s five-match winning streak.
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