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RR vs RCB: ‘I’m not 100% and a lot of people are unwell’

In the Eliminator of the Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024), Sanju Samson-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) went head-to-head with the Faf du Plessis-led Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) on Wednesday, May 22, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The Rajasthan Royals entered the match with a massive dip in their performance and confidence. After flying high in the first 9 matches of IPL 2024 that saw Rajasthan Royals being on a 4-match winning streak twice, Sanju Samson & Co. suddenly started to perform poorly and went on to lose 4 consecutive matches.

On May 2, Rajasthan Royals lost an absolute nail-biter by 1-run against Sunrisers Hyderabad before losing by 20 runs against Delhi Capitals on May 7 despite Sanju Samson’s best efforts. In the next two matches, Rajasthan Royals faced 5-wicket defeats at the hands of Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings on May 12 and May 15.

Rajasthan Royals earlier looked set to finish their Indian Premier League 2024 campaign in the top 2 but the losing streak of the team to go with the washout in their last league stage match against KKR didn’t let that happen and they finished third.

Coming back to the IPL 2024 Eliminator, Rajasthan Royals did a fantastic job and picked up wickets at regular intervals after winning the toss. Even though the bowlers were spot-on with their lines and lengths, RCB were allowed to score 172 for 8.

For Rajasthan Royals, Avesh Khan was the most successful bowler as he bagged a three-wicket haul and Ravichandran Ashwin supported him with his excellent figures of 2/19. Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, and Yuzvendra Chahal also picked one wicket each.

What cricket and life has taught us is we will have some good and some really bad phases – Sanju Samson 

Chasing the target, Yashasvi Jaiswal (45) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (20) took the team off to a good start with the India youngster showing his true class. After the dismissal of openers, Sanju Samson (17) and Dhruv Jurel (8) bagged low scores and RCB started gaining momentum in the match. However, Riyan Parag (36), Shimron Hetmyer (26), and Rovman Powell (16) batted brilliantly and took RR to a 4-wicket win.

Speaking after the win and booking a place in the Qualifier 2, Sanju Samson turned philosophical and said:

“What cricket and life has taught us is we will have some good and some really bad phases. But we need to have the character to bounce back.”

Sanju Samson lauded his bowlers, batters, and fielders for mostly doing a great job in the match. He elaborated:

“Really happy with the way we fielded, batted and bowled today. Credit to the bowlers, they are always looking at what the opposition batters would do and what fields to set. 

Sanju Samson also gave a special shoutout to Kumar Sangakkara and Shane Bond for working hard with the team. Sanju Samson stated:

“Credit goes to Sanga and bowling coach Shane Bond as well. They’ve spent a lot of time in hotel rooms discussing these things. Plus Ashwin and Boult are experienced lads.”

Sanju Samson signed off by praising Riyan Parag and Yashasvi Jaiswal and revealing that he is not fully fit and the same is the case with a lot of players in the RR camp. Sanju Samson said:

“(On Parag and Jaiswal) They are 22 each, so is Jurel. With very little experience, the way they are performing at this level is amazing. (On his health) I’m not a 100% actually. There is a bug in the dressing room, lots of coughs and a lot of people are a bit unwell. (Going forward) Rovman finished that off well. I think we have a travel day and rest now, looking forward to the next game.”

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