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Stuart Binny once again played a vital role to take Rajasthan Royals across the line in a tight finish. The all-rounder smashed two sixes and two boundaries en-route to his 13-ball unbeaten 32. The middle-order bat is becoming more adept at finishing matches for RR with the bat.
Chasing their highest target in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 against the Pune Warriors India, openers Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane ensured that the home team were in the game and kept pace with the required run rate. But after the duo departed Binny held up one end and with small valuable contributions from the other end and ensured that the Royals were firmly in the race for a place in the final four.
While speaking to iplt20.com, Binny who is fast gaining a reputation as a finisher spoke about his role in the batting line-up and the ability of the entire team to adapt and bat at whatever position is required on a given day.
You are making it a habit of finish the games, your thoughts?
Yes well, the position that I come in to bat at normally, No 5, 6 you get an opportunity to finish the game but I think the most important thing is that we finish and get over the line. I have been batting really well. I have been watching the ball and when the ball is in my area I score boundaries quickly.
Although you have been in this situation before, was there a bit more pressure since this was the biggest chase you have had this season?
There is always pressure chasing but the wicket turned out to be an excellent batting strip so we knew that even if we were chasing 50 runs in 25 balls it was always possible. We were trying to stay on par with the run rate and once it came down to the second last over or 12 balls (approximately) we knew exactly that we didn’t want to keep too much for the last over, so we tried to push in the 18th over and it came off well. Sanju (Vishwanadh) came and played well to get a boundary off the first ball, and it took a bit of pressure off me as well.
Four runs were required from four balls when James Faulkner came in, what was it like in the middle?
At that time we were just looking to get bat on ball and find the gap. The point fielder is on the line so you can really run one run there. So the communication between Faulkner and me was just to get bat on ball and fortunately we got two runs off that ball which took some pressure off me again as well.
The bowlers were expensive today so what were you hoping to restrict PWI to?
In the first eight – ten overs they really took the game away from us. And for us to come back, we did well. We didn’t bowl exceptionally well. We thought the ball would swing a bit more but it really didn’t do much as it was a pretty flat batting track. When we spoke in the mid innings break we spoke about just going through and batting all the overs and with a wicket like this we could definitely get runs on the board.
What kind of difference has Paddy Upton made?
He has helped a lot the young guys especially in times when some matches don’t go our way. He is always there cheering us up, telling us that in cricket you are going to lose couple of games. We have all really benefited from him definitely.
Do you enjoy the role of a finisher?
At the moment I am totally enjoying it. I started off at No 4 in the tournament and now I have come down to No 6. But as long as I can contribute with bat and ball I will be most happy.
How do you all work around the Royals flexible batting line-up and the horses for courses policy?
Depending on the conditions we play, players depending on the wickets also. More or less we are a very flexible team. The guys can bat all around. A guy batting at No 6 can come in and bat at No 3.
How do you prepare for it?
Before we started the IPL we all knew our roles. We all practiced accordingly. With me, batting with the new ball and stuff like that. It just worked out very well for us. Who is your favourite finisher?
I watched Andrew Symonds a lot when I was growing up and he batted at a similar number as me and I have always watched him bat and finish games.
Tell us about your role as a finisher and what it means going ahead?
All I want to say is, I just want to keep batting well. I don’t want to worry about what is going to happen in the future. Right now it is for us to concentrate and get in to the Play-Offs. With fingers crossed, hopefully if I can get a couple of more knocks here in the IPL, things could look good for me.
How does it feel to be unbeaten at home and the points table still open for you?
It feels great. We know we play good cricket here and even when they had scored so much, we knew we were in with a good chance. Playing here we enjoy the crowd, the wickets. We have practiced here so much and we have played a lot of practice matches here. So we are just going to go out and continue performing in the coming games.
Is there more pressure when the opposition has nothing to lose?
Yes there is because some of the guys come out and play a lot more freely that in the start of the tournament. They have nothing to lose so it can work against us but the way we have played has been excellent cricket throughout. We have had a couple of bad games but to bounce back and play such good cricket is amazing.
Pune Warriors India’spoor run in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 followed them to Jaipur where they lost a closely fought game to the Rajasthan Royals. Although they set the home team a sizeable 179-run target, it wasn’t enough to halt the Royals winning streak at home.
RR skipper Rahul Dravidand Ajinkya Rahane set up the match and the rest of the team ensured that they made it to the finish line to stay in contention for a spot in the Play-Offs.Describing his opposite number’s knockAaron Finch said, “Dravid got the job done like a surgeon.” And the surgeon’s team ensured that they held their nerve, and finished the game with clinical precision after their leader set the tone of the innings.
But it was Mitchell Marsh’s blitzkrieg towards the end of the PWI innings that set up the fight and gave the visitors a chance to make a match of it. The Australian youngster smashed a 21-ball 35 including three sixes. The Warriors gleaned 27 runs off RR in the last two overs to take their total to 178.
Speaking to iplt20.com after yet another gut wrenching loss, Marsh said batting was one of the positives from the game that they would hope to take into the next clash and hope to win.
Excerpts from the interview:
After your onslaught in the last two overs, did you think you were in with a good chance?
Yes, I thought we were in with a good chance on Sunday night. It was nice to get runs in the end and get to a par total. Unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line.
Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch got you off to one of the best starts this season. Your thoughts?
Robin and Finchy (Aaron Finch) have done that almost in every game for us, got us the good starts. They have been consistent and they did a good job today. I feel that if they keep doing that then we can get runs on the board.
Does bowling in the death overs remain an area of concern?
I thought we bowled well out there. (Stuart) Binny batted really well to finish off the game and unfortunately that’s the way it goes. They missed a couple of balls and then they got fours which is unfortunate.
Was there any particular reason for not bowling in the match?
We had a lot of bowling so I was there with the bat.
What are the positives that you take from the match going ahead?
Our batting was really good on Sunday night. Everyone who batted contributed so that was great and we will take that momentum into the next game and hopefully as a team we can get a win.