Hyderabad: AB de Villiers, who batted at his usual position after being demoted to 6th place in their loss against Kings XI Punjab in the previous match, played another blitzkrieg scoring an unbeaten 55 runs in 22 balls to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals.
A delighted RCB coach Simon Katich heaped praises on the South African calling him a freak. “He is a freak. That is why he is the greatest of all time. We have seen him playing such knocks every now and then. He won us against Mumbai and KKR. His knock was fantastic. We learnt from our mistake in the last match and today he batted at the right position and won us the game,” he said after the victory.
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With required run rate creeping with every over, he conceded that there were nerves in the dressing room. “Yes, we were a bit nervous. We were behind the run rate and knew we needed four five sixes to be in the game. But once he (ABD) hit three sixes of the first three balls in the 19th over, that eased pressure in the dugout. It is not easy to hit the quality of Archer in the final over, so he put pressure on Unadkat at the right time,” he added.
Meanwhile, a disappointed Steve Smith said that they need to go back to the drawing board and start winning as the time is running out for them. “We got ourselves into a winning position but failed to cross the line in the last two matches. That hurt us and it is clear cut now, we need to win the next five matches from here on,” he said after the loss.
When asked whether he should have given Jofra Archer the 19th over in hindsight, he said, “Definitely. Knowing the results, I would have definitely given Archer the 19th over. A good over there would have given us more runs to defend in the final over. But the boundary was big on the right side and Jaydev bowls more cutters. So we went with him,” he revealed.
On sending Robin Uthappa to open the innings, he said, “We wanted a bit more experience in the middle and with Jos (Buttler) coming in the middle, we know that he is also one of the best finishers at the back end. It gives us more balance. Robbie (Uthappa) has opened the innings many times in the past and he provided us a very good start today.” Commenting on his form, he said he was delighted to score some runs but lamented not to utilise the final over where they got just four runs.
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