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It was yet another thrilling finish, another last over hungama in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 that had the spectators on the edge of their seats on Monday evening. And the player who set up the scintillating contest was Royal Challengers Bangalore’sVinay Kumar.
The 29-year old’s efforts to work on his batting paid off as he smashed 22 off six deliveries to set the opposition a 172-run target. Kumar sent Purple Cap holder James Faulkner sailing over the ropes thrice in the last over after the visitors were put in to bat by Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
However, the Royals’ batters put up a confident performance and capitalised on the chances they got. Young Sanju Vishwanadh kept the Rahul Dravid-led side in the game and the seniors batted around him to snatch victory.
While speaking to iplt20.com after yet another away loss, Vinay Kumar reflected on the game and lauded Sanju’s efforts.
Excerpts from the interview:
Your knock helped make a match of it. And then to come back and try to defend the target in the last over, do the previous experiences of similar situations help?
Regarding my batting, I am concentrating more also because the lower order batsmen’s contributions are crucial for the team.
I love to bowl in the death but unfortunately again we lost the game. It would have been... I would say a bit unlucky, like on the first ball Rahul (Dravid’s) catch went down. We have a superb fielding side but these things happen. But we need to forget this as soon as possible and come back harder for the remaining games.
How crucial was Shane Watson’s wicket and then Owais Shah’s run out in the last over for your confidence and to keep RCB in contention?
It had boiled down to a run-a-ball game, one or two wickets always puts pressure on the batsmen and that is beauty of this format. And yes after getting Watson’s wicket we were back in the game.
What would you reckon was par score for the game?
It was good actually; 170-odd was good for us to defend but we went for more runs and lost the game.
What are your thoughts on Sanju Vishwanadh’s knock and what was your experience playing against him in the domestic circuit?
Frankly I didn’t know much about him. In the one or two games that I have played against him, we got him out early. He played really well and with the kind of shots he played he has a bright future.
Watson’s innings was crucial in the chase but after you got his wicket, what would you say helped the opposition?
Chasing is a bit easier in evening games because once the dew starts coming in, the wicket will bond a bit more and the ball comes onto the bat. Watson is a good batsman, they got a good start and they made the best use of that.
Since James Faulkner has been performing consistently for RR and had also claimed a fiver in the previous match, had you prepared differently to negotiate him?
In the last over anyone would have gone for the big shots and fortunately the shots connected well and that gave us 22 runs in the last over; that helped to take the match till the end. And yes he is a good bowler but in this format you can’t depend on previous performances, you need to go ahead keep trying different things, every ball is different and three balls can change your analysis (smiles).
What makes most teams stronger at home?
Home teams know the wicket well and the score required in their backyard and it is a disadvantage for the visitors as more adjustments need to be made. In this format if you commit a mistake you can’t come back easily, so knowing the wicket always helps.
2: Number of instances of one bowler from each side bowling a wicket-maiden in IPL 2013 (bowlers-Sreesanth and Ravi Rampaul). Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar (Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab at Jaipur) provided the other such instance.
9: Number of players to aggregate 2000 runs in IPL, with Virat Kohli being the latest entrant to this exclusive club.
18: Years 169 days – Sanju Samson’s age – youngest to score a fifty in IPL. The previous record was held by Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Sreevats Goswami, who scored a fifty at the age of 19 years 1 day.
100: Percent – Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win-loss record in IPL 2013- win in all 6 home games and loss in all four away games. Rajasthan Royals have also won all their five home games this season.
366.66: R Vinay Kumar’s strike-rate in the match- 22* off 6 balls with 3 sixes. This is the second highest strike-rate in an innings of 5 balls or more in IPL 2013, after AB de Villiers’ 387.50 (31 off 8 balls) against Pune Warriors India at Bengaluru.