IPL 2020: Steve Smith acknowledged AB de Villiers’ genius after the Royal Challengers Bangalore star helped his team complete a tough chase of 178 with a 22-ball 55 not out in Dubai on Saturday.
IPL 2020: RR got AB’d, says Steve Smith as de Villiers shines for RCB (Courtesy of BCCI)
- AB de Villiers’s 22-ball 55 helped RCB gun down 178 vs RR
- Steve Smith said the loss to RCB is a bitter pill to swallow
- Smith explained his decision to bowl Unadkat in the 19th over in Dubai
Steve Smith cut a dejected figure as he said Rajasthan Royals’ defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL 2020 match on Saturday was a ‘bitter pill to swallow’. The Royals were in control of the game for the most part of it before AB de Villiers came in and smashed a 22-ball 55 not out to help the Royal Challengers pull off a heist in Dubai.
Rajasthan Royals got the big wicket of Virat Kohli after Rahul Tewatia pulled off a stunning catch at the deep to peg back Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chase of 178. When AB de Villiers walked out, RCB needed 76 off just 41 balls on a wicket that was slowing down as the innings progressed.
AB de Villiers also took his time to get going but once he switched gears, there was no stopping the South African great. De Villiers smashed 6 sixes and a boundary as RCB got to the target with 2 balls and 7 wickets to spare. Mr. 360 took Jaydev Unadkat to the cleaners in the 19th over, bringing down the equation from 35 off 11 balls to just 9 off the last over.
“Sure, it is a hard pill to swallow. Just got AB’d there. That’s two in a row we were in the box seat to win but didn’t. Disappointing. I think it was a good score on a slow wicket. I thought we built the pressure pretty well and it took a pretty special innings to take RCB home,” Steve Smith said.
Steve Smith on the decision to bowl Jaydev Unadkat in the 19th over
Steve Smith defended his decision of giving the 19th over to Jaydev Unadkat after going against the norm of giving the penultimate over to the team’s best bowler in modern-day cricket. Unadkat gave away 25 runs and left nothing to bowl at for Jofra Archer in the final over.
“We wanted to use Jaydev to the bigger boundary, he bowls a lot of slower stuff into the wicket. Obviously boundary not big enough for AB,” Smith said.
Earlier in the day, Steve Smith overcame poor batting form to hit a 36-ball 57. He walked in at No. 4 after a good start given by Robin Uthappa, who was promoted to open the innings ahead of Jos Buttler.