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Record-breaking onslaught saves Smith

India’s Rahul Tewatia smashed five sixes in one over as Rajasthan Royals completed the Indian Premier League’s highest-ever run chase against Kings XI Punjab on Monday morning (AEDT).Tewatia, a leg-spin bowler and left-hand batsman, hit the ball over the fence seven times on his way to 53 off 31 balls as captain Steve Smith’s Royals,…

India’s Rahul Tewatia smashed five sixes in one over as Rajasthan Royals completed the Indian Premier League’s highest-ever run chase against Kings XI Punjab on Monday morning (AEDT).

Tewatia, a leg-spin bowler and left-hand batsman, hit the ball over the fence seven times on his way to 53 off 31 balls as captain Steve Smith’s Royals, set 224 to win, reached 226 with four wickets in hand and three balls to spare in Sharjah.

Smith hit a quickfire 50 from 27 rocks with seven fours and two sixes, and Sanju Samson top-scored with 85 before Tewatia took the Royals to within one run of Kings XI’s 2/223.

“I was not hitting the ball well initially, I saw in the dug-out, everybody was curious as they know that I can hit the ball long,” said Tewatia, who was promoted to No. 4 but struggled at first, scoring eight from 19 balls before he cut loose.

“It was a matter of one six. After that, I got going. I hit five in an over and it was amazing.”

Tewatia, who has played seven first-class matches, hit West Indies quick Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes — four in a row — in the 18th over to turn the tables at the Sharjah cricket ground, which has short boundaries.

Tewatia finally fell to paceman Mohammed Shami on the last ball of the 19th over but Jofra Archer, unbeaten on 13, and Tom Curran, who hit the winning boundary, saw the Royals home.

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The previous best chase of 215 was also by the Royals, against the Deccan Chargers in 2008.

Aussie legend Shane Warne, who works with the Royals but is still in quarantine, was amazed by what he was watching on TV from his hotel room.

“Just bloody awesome guys! Congrats to all and so happy for all the boys. Wow, wow, wow,” Warne tweeted. “The 2020 @IPL has a similar feel to 2008.

“Win all close games and chase down huge scores! Never give up and lots of belief !!!!! Well done to all.”

Tewatia’s innings eclipsed Kings XI opener Mayank Agarwal’s maiden IPL century in a 183-run opening partnership with skipper KL Rahul, who made 69.

Agarwal smashed 106 in 50 deliveries, hitting 10 fours and seven sixes.

Royals were jolted early in their chase when opener Jos Buttler fell for four in his first IPL outing of the season following his time in quarantine.

An eye-catching outfield save by Kings XI’s Nicholas Pooran to stop a six from Samson stood out in the run fest.

Pooran defied gravity to reach a big hit from Samson going for rope, flicking the ball back inside the playing area while still in mid air.

AFP

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