IPL 2020: ‘Stokes & Samson batted really well, our bowlers had not much to do’, admits Hardik Pandya

Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson shared an unbroken 152-run stand to script RR's 8-wicket win over MI.

Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson | IPL/BCCIMumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder Hardik Pandya admitted that their bowlers were left with "not much options" against the dynamic duo of Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson, who scripted Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) eight-wicket victory with scintillating batting performances.

Chasing 196 to win, RR lost Robin Uthappa (13) and Steve Smith (11) cheaply but Stokes and Samson wreaked havoc on MI bowlers, sharing an unbroken 152-run stand from 82 deliveries to overhaul the target in just 18.2 overs.

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In particular, Stokes was severe on the Mumbai bowlers as he finished with 107 not out off 60 balls (14 fours and 3 sixes). Samson played the role of second fiddle to perfection, remaining unbeaten on 54 off 31 balls.

"Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition as well, and I feel that they really batted well. Our bowlers had not much to do; it was their skills and execution, which worked for them...they were better today in batting," Pandya said at the post-match press conference.

Opting to bat first, the defending champions piled up a massive 195/5 in 20 overs on the back of Hardik Pandya’s brutal 21-ball 60*, including 2 fours and 7 sixes. Suryakumar Yadav (40 off 26 balls) and Saurabh Tiwary (34 off 25 balls) also made significant contributions with the bat.

Hardik said they had enough runs on board and gave credit to Stokes and Samson for successfully chasing down the score.

"Hitting sixes is fun, which I enjoyed. I thought we got enough runs, initially when the second strategic time-out happened we were looking more at 165-170, and obviously we got 25 runs more, which I thought was enough but credit goes to Stokes and Sanju, they really batted well," he remarked.

According to Pandya, luck was also on Rajasthan's side as multiple inside and outside edges flew to the boundary.

"They took their chances and I think even luck was there on their side ... actually multiple inside and outside edges went for boundaries. But having said that, they still played some outstanding shots, which I don't think our bowlers had much options to do," he said.

Despite the loss, Mumbai Indians are heading the points table with 7 wins from 11 games and Hardik said the team should focus on finishing in the top-two spot.

"I feel from this game we should rectify our mistake, and the other things we didn't do and focus on the positives.

"We are still sitting at number one, we need to play a couple of good games and we should be focussing on getting the top two position and keep focussing," he concluded.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 26 Oct, 2020

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