ABU DHABI: After an eight-wicket triumph over the top-ranked Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith lauded the centurion Ben Stokes and half-centurion Sanju Samson for playing good cricketing shots and stitching a 152-run partnership to get the side over the line.
Chasing a mammoth target of 196, Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes opened the innings for Rajasthan. Uthappa played a knock of 13 runs before he was removed by James Pattinson in the second over.
Steve Smith joined Stokes in the middle and added 31-run for the second wicket. Pattinson struck again and this time it was Smith (11) in the fifth over.
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Samson joined Stokes in the middle and stitched a match-winning stand of 152-run. The duo smashed Mumbai bowlers all around the ground and chased the target with 10 balls to spare.
Stokes played a quickfire knock of 107 off 60 balls including three sixes and 14 fours while Samson accumulated 54 from 31 balls.
For Mumbai, Pattinson scalped both the wickets.
"Very pleased, that's what we're crying for, use the experience, take the game deep and that's what both Stokes and Samson did. The wicket was playing good, the ball was coming onto the bat, there was the intent - the shots were flowing, they just played good cricketing shots - I thought the partnership was fantastic," Smith told the host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Earlier, Saurabh Tiwary (34) and Hardik Pandya (60) smashed 74 runs off the final four overs as Mumbai Indians posted a total of 195/5 in the allotted twenty overs.
"We played some good cricket in the first half, the dropped chance proved to be costly, perhaps we ended up giving away another 40-45 runs, but it didn't matter in the end. I hope our batters take the confidence from this match and play knocks which will help the team win," Smith added.
With this win, Rajasthan gained two points and are at the sixth spot with 10 points. They will next take on Kings XI Punjab at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 30.