IPL 2024: 'Thought that Rajasthan had left a little bit too much to do towards the back end', says Finch

Mullanpur, April 14 (IANS) Though Rajasthan Royals got their fifth win of IPL 2024 with a tight three-wicket win over Punjab Kings, Aaron Finch, Australia’s 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup winning captain, believes the Sanju Samson-led side had left a little bit too much work for themselves in acing the chase of 148.

At the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium on Saturday evening, RR bowled well in restricting PBKS to 147/8 on a slow pitch. In the chase, RR were in trouble at 115/5, before Shimron Hetmyer stepped up to make an unbeaten 27 off 10 balls, hitting a boundary and three sixes, including the winning runs, to get RR back to winning ways and consolidate their top spot on the points table.

“I thought that Rajasthan had left a little bit too much to do towards the back end. They just couldn’t get any duality through the middle part of that inning. It was safe for both teams. They really struggled to find the boundary. Sam Curran at the end talked about it being just a tough slog, what they expected. But you shouldn’t forget the calmness he (Hetmyer) shows under pressure time and time again, definitely getting into this match.

“He only played 25 balls in five matches in this tournament. So to remain so calm under pressure and have Rovman Powell walk in and also contribute to that with a couple of boundaries when they really needed it to get the run rate back on track and give them half a chance was exceptional. But I think the teams will reflect on that. They dropped a couple of chances. They were a bit sloppy on the field. So they’ll be kicking themselves with that,” said Finch on ‘Cricket Live’ show on Star Sports.

While RR sprang a surprise by opening with off-spin all-rounder Tanush Kotian, who made a 31-ball 24 in his first T20 innings as an opener, Yashasvi Jaiswal crucially found time to make 39 off 28 balls, in what was also his first score above 30 in IPL 2024.

“It was so good to see Yashasvi among the runs. I think he was listening to what the legend said because he waited. He didn’t play any unwanted risky shots. He played with the merit of the ball. So it was good to see and it was good for Rajasthan Royals.

“And personally, I think he’s somebody who can take Rajasthan Royals to the next level. They’re doing really well. If Jaiswal starts scoring runs, I think that will be the best thing that could happen to Rajasthan Royals,” added former India fast-bowler S Sreesanth.

PBKS pacer Kagiso Rabada did cause some trouble in RR’s chase by taking out Jaiswal and Sanju Samson in successive overs to take 2-18 in four overs, though it wasn’t enough for the hosts’ to avoid their fourth loss of the tournament.

“Yeah, wonderful. Didn’t pick up anything in the powerplay, but obviously came back in search of wickets. He’s not one of those guys you’re going to bring back to sort of stem the flow of runs. When he comes back, you want a wicket in that movement mode that you have to offer.

“And to get 18 runs in the four overs, pick up wickets, I think it shows that he’s getting into the groove. And Punjab Kings needs a fire bar to be in this tournament, because you look at the bowling, it’s a bit inconsistent. So, from your overseas pro, you really want somebody who’s going to give you that output every single match,” concluded Brian Lara, the former Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach.

RR will now travel to Kolkata to face Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday, while PBKS are staying at their home venue to host five-time champions Mumbai Indians on Thursday.



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