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Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
245: The number of sixes hit by Kieron Pollard in Twenty20 format – 18 more than the number of fours he has hit!
65: Number of runs added by Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh – highest seventh wicket partnership in IPL history. The pair obliterated the previous record stand of 60 between Ravindra Jadeja and Shane Warne for Rajasthan Royals against Kings XI Punjab at Cape Town in 2009.
50: By dismissing Dwayne Smith, R Ashwin completed his 50 wickets in the IPL – in his 50th match!
4: The number of times MS Dhoni has reached his fifty off 25 or fewer balls in the IPL. Only Virender Sehwag has done this more often- 5 times.
4: Number of ducks made by Sachin Tendulkar in the IPL. Interestingly Mumbai Indians went on to win all of these four games!
After Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid had built a platform, Staurt Binny came in and whipped 40 off 20 balls to take the attack to the Delhi Daredevils. While the veteran Rajasthan Royals’ captain held-up one end, the tattoo sporting youngster smashed the ball off the park to tilt the match in the visitor’s favour. He specially singled out former team-mate Johan Botha for special treatment.
Although his bat flew out of his hands after nudging the ball to the boundary, Binny followed it up with a sweep to collect a six and another over long-off. His 55-run partnership off 28 balls with Dravid, before returning to the dressing room, was one of the key factors in RR getting off to a winning start in the Pepsi IPL 2013.
While speaking to iplt20.com after the exhilarating win, Binny recollected his innings and while reflecting on the game lauded Kevon Cooper’s efforts and also talked about Rahul Dravid’s magnificent innings and Brad Hodge’s leadership as they pulled off a five-run win.
Excerpts from the interview: You are a good hitter of the ball, but was it part of the plan for you to hit while Rahul Dravid was already anchoring the innings or were you just playing your natural game?
The plan was actually to go out and play positive cricket. It is not necessary to hit every ball for six but today I think it came off a bit the way I wanted it to go. But definitely the plan always will be to go out and play positive cricket and help my partner at the other end.
It was important to accelerate when you came in to bat and the over where both of you gleaned 19 runs off Johan Botha. Talk to us about that?
I think it is important to target a bowler in conditions like this. Especially when their left-arm spinner was bowling it was a bit difficult (to score off him). But, I had played Botha for a couple of years now so I knew the areas where he would bowl and once I got the first hit I thought I will capitalise in that over.
With the way the match panned out and ended in a tight finish, did you feel you were a 10-15 runs short having lost four quick wickets in the last two overs for six runs?
Yes definitely. I think we were 10-12 runs short. In a close game even one run is important so I think we have to bat our full overs and try and get our batsmen to bat and not let the tail-enders bat towards the end but I think by losing three-four wickets we put pressure on ourselves again.
Rahul Dravid’s innings, your take?
Unbelievable! To come back and play cricket as good as he is right now I think everyone would love to bat like the way he is doing. In twenty20 especially when the pressure is on in the first game and the nerves are a bit high he just came out and batted superbly.
Brad Hodge’s captaincy and holding your nerves in a tight situation, tell us what was it like in the middle? What did Hodge tell the bowlers and the team?
We came here last year also and we lost a close game. Hodge is a great leader and he has captained a lot of T20 teams in the past so he knew exactly what he was doing and he saw that we back ourselves in that situation and try and be as calm as possible towards the end of the game.
He is so experienced so I guess he was the best man for the job at that time. And (Kevon) Cooper I must mention bowled and absolute brilliant over towards the end which is under the pump most of the time.
He put up a similar performance last year as well?
Yes. That’s the kind of cricket he plays - he can hit a ball, bowl, field well. He is a brilliant package to have in this format.
Good to get off to a winning start and that too against DD, a team whom you had lost in both matches last year. Your take?
It is very important to get off to a winning start. I think when we go and play against the Kolkata Knight Riders in a day’s time the momentum is with us. We are not trying to come in from behind because we are starting as winners so we can go out and play cricket freely.
Do you feel that David Warner’s wicket was probably the turning point?
Yes. We dropped him twice which is not ideal in a twenty20 match especially if he is a guy who is scoring runs. But then again the run-out (happened), he had to give us a chance somewhere and we took one chance. We dropped two but we took one which was excellent. There were still big hitters to follow after Warner so what was the plan?
It was a bit tough. The wicket was a bit slow and especially with Cooper bowling Yorkers like that (it wasn’t easy to score runs). We had a better chance than them I guess but it was important that we finish the first four balls of the over without giving a boundary.