Indian Premier League 2020
Smith leads Royals in greatest IPL run-chase
Twenty-nine sixes smashed in IPL run-fest on a night where bat completely dominated ball
28 September 2020, 07:09 AM AEST
Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals pulled off the highest run-chase in Indian Premier League history on Sunday to continue their perfect start to the tournament.
Having conceded a monstrous 2-223 from 20 overs due in large to a blazing 50-ball 106 from Kings XI Punjab opener Mayank Agarwal, Rajasthan were long shots to record victory at 2-140 from 15 overs, still needing 84 runs from the final 30 balls.
Long shots were required and that's what Royals No.4 Rahul Tewatia delivered five times in the 18th over as he hit Windies quick Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes - four in a row to start the over - to finish with 53 from 31 balls and power the Royals to a four-wicket win with three balls to spare.
Tewatia's rampage came out of the blue - he was 17 from his first 23 balls before striking six sixes from his next seven balls to finish with seven sixes and zero fours.
Rajasthan now hold the two highest run-chases ever seen in the IPL; Sunday's effort eclipsed the previous record of 7-217 against Deccan Chargers in the inaugural season of 2008.
The epic pursuit was set up by half-centuries from Smith (50 from 27 balls) and Sanju Samson, who crashed 85 from 42 deliveries with seven sixes of his own.
Agarwal also hit seven sixes to go with 10 fours in his innings, scoring 82 of his 106 runs in boundaries.
Agarwal and KL Rahul (69 from 54) put on 183 for the opening partnership, the third highest in competition history behind the 185 by Sunrisers pair David Warner and Johnny Bairstow last year.
With 449 runs scored in 39.3 overs, it's fair to say it was not a night for the bowlers.
Royals quick Jofra Archer went 0-49 from his four overs as one of five Royals bowlers to concede more than 10 runs per over.
That was before Cottrell was hammered for 1-52 from three overs and his new-ball partner Mohammed Shami took 3-53 from four overs.
However, Archer made up for his bowling by clubbing the first two balls he faced for six to finish unbeaten on 13 from three balls to secure the win.
The result means Rajasthan sit second on the IPL table behind the Delhi Capitals, while Kings XI are one spot back in third with one win from three matches.