Arshdeep Singh held his nerve in the final over to help Punjab Kings register a thrilling win and skipper KL Rahul said the 22-year-old bowler enjoys bowling in the pressure situation.
Sanju Samson's fighting hundred went in vain as Punjab Kings clinched the nail-biting game here at the Wankhede on Monday. Rajasthan needed 13 off the final over and Arshdeep successfully defended the target.
"I had gone to Arshdeep for crucial overs last year too. He doesn't mind bowling the pressure overs, he seems to enjoy it. He loves being in the contest. Love throwing him the ball. He's pretty clear with what he wants to do," Rahul told host broadcaster Star Sports after the win.
With Ben Stokes back in the hut, Jos Buttler and Samson had revived Rajasthan Royals' innings before the English batsman lost the plot and got out in the eighth over.
However, Samson and Riyan Parag didn't give up and kept fighting as the duo smashed 13 and 20 runs in the 15th and 16th over. Samson took on Richardson and whacked him for 19 runs in the 18th over as the equation came down to 21 off two overs.
Samson, who smashed 119 off 63 balls, kept fighting till the end but wasn't able to get the job done for the Royals as Punjab Kings clinched a thriller on the last ball. The wicket-keeper batsman had also refused a run to remain at a strike when Rajasthan Royals needed 5 off 2 balls.
Rahul admitted that bowling against Samson was quite difficult for the Punjab bowlers. The Punjab Kings skipper also said he didn't think about the last year's game where Rahul Tewatia had rescued Rajasthan from a similar position.
"Heart rate was high but I didn't stop believing. We knew a couple of wickets would bring us back. Till first 10-11 overs we bowled well. It was close because we dropped a few sitters, including me," said Rahul.
"As a bowling unit, we bowled as we planned. When you're bowling against Sanju, it's difficult. We weren't thinking of the last year's game (the Tewatia one). Great way to start. We made some mistakes," he added.
Deepak Hooda smashed a sensational half-century to steer Punjab to 221 in the 20 overs and Rahul was in awe of the batsman's amazing knock.
"Deepak Hooda's innings was amazing. That's the kind of batting we want to see as a team. We want to bat fearlessly and takedown bowlers," said Rahul.
Punjab Kings will now lock horns with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday.
( With inputs from ANI )
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