Sharjah: He was villain one moment and then in the space of 7-8 balls he became an instant hero. It couldn’t have been any better for this relatively unheard of cricketer. However, Rahul Tewatia became a household name in the space of few deliveries. It was Rahul Tewatia who led the charge and conjured up a victory for Rajasthan Royals (RR) against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) here Sunday.
Tewatia hit seven sixes in all, five of them in one over from Sheldon Cottrell. Chasing a record total Sunday, the RR batsman walked out at No. 4 after the dismissal of Steve Smith. The team then had to get over 90 runs with a few overs left.
Initially Tewatia struggled to get going scoring only seven off the first 23 deliveries he faced. Seven out of the next eight deliveries went over the ropes and the match was there for the taking for RR. He was eventually out to Mohammed Shami in the 19th over but had done enough. RR achieved a four-wicket win with three balls remaining.
Words are not exactly adequate the knock that Tewatia played. The left-handed batsman however, said he ‘felt better’ after his innings ended. He called the initial half of his knock ‘probably the worst of his T20 career’.
“Now, I’m better. That was the worst first 20 balls that I have ever played. I was hitting the ball very good in the nets, so I had belief in myself and kept going. I was not hitting the ball well initially. Everybody was curious in the dugout because they know that I can hit the ball long,” the 27-year-old batsman said.
“I thought I had to believe in myself. It was a matter of one six, after that, I got going. Five in an over went amazing. The coach sent me in to hit sixes off the leg-spinner as I am a left-hander. However, I didn’t hit manage to hit him. Thankfully, I hit off the other bowlers,” Tewatia added.