Rajasthan Royals defeated Lucknow Super Giants in the 20th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by just three runs. Shimron’s unbeaten 36-ball 59, Yuzvendra Chahal’s four-wicket haul followed by some nerves of steel shown by the youngster Kuldeep Sen in the last over helped the Royals survive a Marcus Stoinis scare. They also climbed at the top of the points table with this win. The match was also in the limelight for Ravi Ashwin getting retired out, a first in the history of the IPL.
Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket and Head Coach, Kumar Sangakkara praised spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin after the win and said that the franchise never expected to get India’s best Red ball & White ball spinner playing together for Rajasthan Royals. “I think they are the best two spinners going around by far. They bowl extremely well together, they bowl well individually. Both of them are aware of their skills and strengths. We never expected to get both of them in the auctions, let alone one. But we were lucky and fortunate to have them and all we are trying to do is support them to get better. They just go out there and lead our attack and have been excellent,” said Sangakkara in a post-match press conference.
In the last over, Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan needed to defend 15 runs and youngster Kuldeep Sen held his nerves against big-hitting Marcus Stoinis to take the team to the third win in four matches and go to the top of the points table. Sangakkara lauded the youngster but stated that he didn’t speak anything to Sen about the final over. “I had no conversation with Kuldeep regarding the last over. I think Sanju, Jos, and other players around supported him. We had pretty simple plans of bowling in the death. I just want to say how he impressed everyone and especially me. The way he handled his first game and bowled at the right lengths in the hardest over,” added Sangakkara.