Rahul Tewatia's incredible hitting in the 18th over of the innings set the tone for a marvellous finish in the match between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. The Royals, which, at one stage, were staring at a certain loss, pulled off a remarkable comeback to break their own record for the highest run-chase in IPL history.
Tewatia hit five sixes in Sheldon Cottrell's over to steer the Royals to a four-wicket win in Sharjah.
Sanju Samson, who played a major role with the bat (85 off 42 deliveries), heaped praise on Tewatia in the post-match press conference. When Tewatia had joined Samson on the crease at number four, he was struggling to score runs, reeling at 8 off 19 deliveries.
However, the 27-year-old made an incredible return in the 18th over to turn it around for RR.
"It was team management's idea. We're working hard on him. He's a leg spinner but he showed batting abilities in the nets and in the practice matches, so they decided to send him up the order and it was a good move," Samson said.
"It was really brave of him. He was down but he never gave up. He had the ability to come back and strike those 30 runs off an international player. It's a great confidence booster for him."
On his approach in the run-chase, Samson said that it is "simpler" to chase targets like the one against KXIP, than those in the range of 160-170.
"There's only one way to go when you're chasing 220 or 230. If you're chasing 160-170, you need to think twice on how to reach there, so this was a bit simpler. See the ball and hit the ball," Samson said.
He also said that chasing in grounds like Sharjah is more advantageous than batting second.
"With my experience, batting second in smaller grounds means that you're one step ahead of the opponent. With smaller grounds and good wickets anything is chaseable in this tournament," said the RR batsman.