After suffering a thumping eight-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith believes they've to just keep winning instead of focusing on mathematically qualifying for playoffs.
Batting first at the Dubai International Stadium, Royals amassed 154 runs on the back of vital knocks by Sanju Samson (36) and Ben Stokes (30). However, the total wasn't enough to stop SRH's stride to the triumph.
"We started well. Jofra taking two big wickets early but we couldn't keep the foot on the pedal. Vijay played smart innings and Manish took the game on and played really nicely. I consulted a few other boys, it was talked about (giving Jofra another over up front) but opted against it and in hindsight, after what happened, probably would've given him one more over," said Smith in the post-match presentation.
"We needed some more runs in the first innings. I can't put my finger on anything, there are plenty of good players and good teams. We haven't been able to pull back to back wins. We just need to keep winning and don't know how things will work for us mathematically, we have to keep winning, that's our job now," he added.
After suffering early blows in the form of skipper Warner and Jonny Bairstow, SRH's run-chase was bolstered by the Manish Pandey-Vijay Shankar duo. Stitching a match-defining stand in the middle, both the Indian players sailed the Hyderabad side past the finishing line at Dubai.
Stitching a vital 140-run stand, Pandey and Shankar left RR bowlers hapless. While Pandey scored a 47-ball 83, Shankar gathered 52 off 51 deliveries. With this morale-boosting win, SRH have now galloped up to the fifth spot in the points table. Eyeing to secure their place in the top four, the Orange Army will now face KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab on Saturday. Royals, on the other hand, will try to hunt for points when they face defending champions Mumbai Indians on Sunday.