Rajasthan Royals recorded a three-wicket win against Gujarat Titans in an evening encounter on Sunday, April 16, to consolidate their position on top of the points table.
In pursuit of 178 runs, Sanju Samson and his side were tottering at 26 for two at the end of the powerplay. However, the skipper along with Shimron Hetmyer scored blistering half-centuries to guide the team over the line with four balls to spare.
While Samson smashed 60 off 32 deliveries, the southpaw was unbeaten on 56 off 26 to help the Royals gain vital two points at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
In the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya rued lack of consistency by his bowling unit as the reason for the loss. "To be honest did not expect the loss after the powerplay, but that's the beauty about this game. The game is never over till it's over, another lesson for us," he said.
"Noor Ahmad is someone who's difficult to pick, and got us the big breakthrough but the other bowlers didn't execute. After I got out, they bowled a couple of good overs, but we should have gone a little harder and got to 200. We did cover it well but when I was watching from outside, I did feel that we were 10 runs, maybe short," he further added.
On the other hand, Samson was a happy captain and credited the team for their all-around performance. "When you play quality opponents on a quality wicket, you get such games. Very happy to compete in such a game and come out on top. It was important to rotate our bowlers, they were playing some quality cricket, and we had to respect that," he said.
"The whole team came up well today, and we could restrict them to around 170. Hetmyer doesn't like easy situations, and we like putting him in such situations because he usually wins us games from such situations," he concluded.
Rajasthan Royals will now take on Lucknow Super Giants on April 17 in Jaipur, while the Titans travel to Ekana Stadium for an afternoon clash with the same opposition on April 22.