IPL 2020, RR vs MI: ‘Things are bit difficult at home,’ Ben Stokes hopes century ‘brought some happiness’ back home
IPL 2020: England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the hero of the night for RR as he smashed a 60-ball 107 to power his side to a comprehensive 8-wicket win. He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who scored a half-century off 31 balls.Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 11:14 IST
Rajasthan Royals have put their names in the reckoning for an Indian Premier League 2020 playoff place with a win over Mumbai Indians on Sunday at the Sheikh Zayed Satdium. Although maligned for their consistency throughout the season, RR batsmen stood up to the task against MI as they chased down a target of 196 runs in 18.2 overs.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the hero of the night for RR as he smashed a 60-ball 107 to power his side to a comprehensive 8-wicket win. He was ably supported by Sanju Samson, who scored a half-century off 31 balls.
Stokes had faced some difficulties at home before the tournament and he decided to dedicate his century to his father who is battling it out with cancer.
“It’s sort of bittersweet, to be honest. A bit taken aback by why it’s taken me so long to get into the tournament for the team. To be honest, the training I’ve had yesterday was the best I had throughout my time here, so I came into this with a bit of confidence. It was coming on nicely,” Stokes told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
“Sort of bittersweet to be honest - it took so long to get one for the team. I would have preferred to get this form two or three games before when we weren’t relying on other results to get us through to the qualifiers. It’s always nice to get back to form. We needed a result from today, so - it’s a good victory. Training yesterday was the best I have had for the full time I have been here. Came into the game with a lot more confidence than the other games. Nice to spend some time out in the middle and finish the game off. The ball was coming on nicely - be it short or full. It was hard when they dug it into the wicket. We got ourselves into a great position by putting the pressure back on to every bowler who came on. They have obviously got Bumrah, which we managed to score probably a lot freer than we thought we’d be able to. It’s a bit difficult at the moment, things are a bit tough back at home, hopefully, this will give them some happiness.”.
Stokes and Samson put together an unbeaten partnership of 152 runs. With this win, Rajasthan Royals has now moved to sixth place in the points table with 10 points while Mumbai Indians are still in the top spot with 14 points. For the knock of 107, Ben Stokes was adjudged as ‘Man of the Match’.
Stokes’ father Ged, a former rugby league international player, was hospitalised in Johannesburg last year right ahead of Christmas. Stokes also missed the initial few matches of this year’s IPL as he was with his ailing father in Christchurch.
Earlier, Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya smashed 74 runs off the final four overs as Mumbai Indians posted a total of 195/5 in the allotted twenty overs. Hardik Pandya brought up his half-century off just 20 balls and he remained unbeaten on 60 runs off just 21 balls.
For Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal scalped two wickets.
Rajasthan Royals will next lock horns with Kings XI Punjab on Friday, October 30 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
(with ANI inputs)