Stokes and Sanju were sensational: Smith

PTI, Oct 26, 2020, 8:22 AM IST

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Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith described the partnership between Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson as sensational and said the eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians was just the kind of result they needed to get their IPL campaign back on track.

Rajasthan rode on a blistering 107 by Stokes and an equally aggressive 54 by Samson to overhaul the 196-run target with 10 balls to spare.

The duo forged an unbeaten 152-run stand for the second wicket.

“Very pleased, that”s what we were crying for, two of our experienced players… take the game deep and the way I think those two (Stokes and Samson) finished it off today and played was sensational, so very pleased,” Smith said at the post match presentation.

“The wicket was playing good and the ball was coming on nicely, so I thought his (Stokes’) intent from ball one – playing good hard cricket shots, taking the game on and that is the way he plays his best and he got into a nice groove tonight.

“I thought that partnership with him (Stokes) and Sanju was sensational,” added the Australian.

Smith said that his team was lacking match-winning contributions from experienced players, which it did against Mumbai.

“I hope our batters from tonight take a bit of confidence and momentum into the next game.

“That is what we have lacked, our experienced players going on to make match-winning contributions and getting the team close to home or home, as they did tonight, so I thought the guys did a fantastic job and hopefully we can take that into the next two games,” he said.

Stokes was relieved to finally come to the party after a sluggish start in the tournament.

“Sort of bittersweet to be honest – it took so long to get one for the team. I would have preferred to get this form two or three games before when we weren’t relying on other results to get us through to the qualifiers,” he said.

“It”s always nice to get back to form. We needed a result from today, so – it”s a good victory. Training yesterday was the best I have had for the full time I have been here.

“Came into the game with a lot more confidence than the other games. Nice to spend some time out in the middle and finish the game off. The ball was coming on nicely – be it short or full.”

Losing skipper Kieron Pollard conceded that Mumbai were unable to contain the destructive duo of Stokes and Samson.

“Sometimes in life you have to do that (say well played to the opposition). They batted fantastically well. But 195/5 at half-time, I thought Hardik brought us back into the game, but well played to Stokes and Samson,” said Pollard.

“We got a couple of early wickets but were not able to capitalise on that. When you play a game of cricket, someone has to win and someone has to lose and we ended on the losing side this time around,” added the West Indian.

Pollard added that they need to play good cricket in the remaining three league games.

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