It was all or nothing: Faulkner

All-rounder describes how he and Smith snuck up on RCB to stage a Royal miracle

Bengaluru 12 May 2014
Rajasthan Royals needed 85 runs from 39 balls with their top five back in the hut. The result of the match seemed a foregone conclusion. The writing was on the wall. Except that it wasn’t. At least that’s what Steven Smith and James Faulkner believed.

Together, the two Australians scripted a miracle at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium as the Royal Challengers Bangalore contingent was lulled into a stunning silence. Smith and Faulkner chased down RCB’s 190 with seven balls to spare.

Man of the Match, James Faulkner (41 off 17 balls and one for 42) tried to describe what transpired out there in words in his post-match chat with Here’s what we got from him:

You guys never give up, do you?

When you are in a position we were in, you have nothing to lose. It’s all or nothing. Chasing a total down is always a nice feeling, but chasing 190 from that position is a very special feeling for the team.

When you and Steve got together, what was the talk like?

They were holding us up with spin, so personally I thought I’ll just play myself in; maybe get a single or play out a dot or if it’s a bad one, put it away. I started a bit slowly and then thought I’ll take on the medium pacers. It worked for me, but I thought the 18th over where Steven took on Ashok Dinda (for 22 runs) was when the game swung back in our favour. The rest is history.

Did you set targets over-wise?

Yes, we knew it was all about scraping off whatever we could in every over and maybe get the target down to 10 runs in the last over. That’s what is going to win you T20 games when you’re chasing 190. In the middle overs, Yuvraj bowled really well and they restricted us as well as took wickets. That made it very hard for us. So, it was extremely special to win from there.

Was the mood a little pensive after conceding 190?

I thought AB de Villiers played an exceptional innings and he is one of the hardest players to bowl to in T20 cricket. We knew it was going to be tough coming against him. Then add Yuvraj’s innings to that, which was unbelievable. So, two class players took the game away from us at the halfway mark. We won the game of cricket in the end, but it was a very hard one.

You more than made up for the pounding you received with the ball today.

Yes, I must admit that this is not one of my favourite grounds in the world to bowl at, especially when you are bowling to some of the world’s best T20 cricketers. We might have to come back here for the final, but there is a lot of cricket to be played before that.

What makes the Royals such a spirited bunch?

All we are concerned about is to play cricket for each other. We haven’t got many superstars and that adds to the beauty of how we coordinate and complement each other on the field. We have a very healthy environment in our team, guided by our coach, mentor and captain. It has helped us so far and hopefully will continue to do so.

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