Sharjah: Rahul Tewatia, who smashed five sixes in an over to help Rajasthan Royals beat Kings XI Punjab in an incredible IPL match, said he always kept believing that he could achieve the feat despite struggling initially in his innings.
Tewatia struck five sixes in the 18th over off Sheldon Cottrell, four of them on the trot, to turn the match on its head after the Royals needed 51 runs from the last three overs.
Tewatia (53 of 31 balls and seven sixes), who was earlier struggling to connect the ball after being pushed up the order, hoisted Cottrell for a series of sixes much to the amazement of his teammates and opposition players.
Jofra Archer (13 not out) and Tom Curran (4 not out) later took the Royals past the target of 224.
"The dugout knows I can hit the ball long. I knew I had to believe in myself. It was a matter of one six," the 27-year-old Tewatia said after the Royals' four-wicket win.
"Five (sixes) in the over, that is amazing. I tried to hit the leg-spinner, but unfortunately I couldn't. So I had to hit other bowlers."
Tewatia struggled to connect with the ball early in his innings after he was sent at Steve Smith's fall ahead of the likes of Robin Uthappa. However, with him wasting deliveries at the crucial juncture, pressure was building on Sanju Samson.
Asked about it, the player from Haryana said, "Now I am better. The worst 20 balls I have ever played. After that, I began to connect. So I kept going."
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New Zealander Neesham (3/12) and Aussie Coulter-Nile (4/14) snapped seven wickets for only 26 runs in eight overs between them to choke Rajasthan for a meagre 90 for 9.
KKR produced a clinical performance to beat RR by a massive 86-run margin and virtually assure their place playoff berth.
With three playoff spots — DC, CSK and RCB — already sealed, KKR consolidated their position for the 4th spot. Mumbai Indians are the only team still in the race but an impossible task awaits them: they need to win by 171 runs against SRH. If they chase, it's all but impossible for them to make it to the last four