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Ben Stokes becomes the first player to score a century in two successful IPL chases

Ben Stokes becomes the first player to score a century in two successful IPL chases

On Sunday evening, Stokes — who had been struggling so far in the ongoing tournament with scores of 30, 19, 15, 41, and 5 — roared back to form with an unbeaten 107 that helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) race to an eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians (MI)
In 2017, the left-handed batsman had smashed an unbeaten 103 for Rising Pune Supergiant as they chased down a total of 162 with a ball to spare on May 1. This was his debut IPL season after he was bought by RPS at a record price of Rs 14.5 crores. In 12 matches that season, he had scored 312 runs besides picking up 12 wickets.
Meanwhile, after Sunday’s match, the England all-rounder said: “Sort of bittersweet to be honest – it took so long to get one for the team. I would have preferred to get this form two or three games before when we weren’t relying on other results to get us through to the qualifiers.”
“It’s always nice to get back to form. We needed a result from today, so – it’s a good victory,” he added. Courtesy their win, Rajasthan are now placed at the sixth spot with 10 points from 12 games. There next two matches are against Kings XI Punjab (Friday) and Kolkata Knight Riders (Sunday).
After an eight-wicket triumph over the top-ranked Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith lauded the centurion Ben Stokes and half-centurion Sanju Samson for playing good cricketing shots and stitching a 152-run partnership to get the side over the line.
Chasing a mammoth target of 196, Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes opened the innings for Rajasthan. Uthappa played a knock of 13 runs before he was removed by James Pattinson in the second over.
Steve Smith joined Stokes in the middle and added 31-run for the second wicket. Pattinson struck again and this time it was Smith (11) in the fifth over.
Samson joined Stokes in the middle and stitched a match-winning stand of 152-run. The duo smashed Mumbai bowlers all around the ground and chased the target with 10 balls to spare.
Stokes played a quickfire knock of 107 off 60 balls including three sixes and 14 fours while Samson accumulated 54 from 31 balls.
"Very pleased, that's what we're crying for, use the experience, take the game deep and that's what both Stokes and Samson did. The wicket was playing good, the ball was coming onto the bat, there was the intent - the shots were flowing, they just played good cricketing shots - I thought the partnership was fantastic," Smith told the host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Earlier, Saurabh Tiwary (34) and Hardik Pandya (60) smashed 74 runs off the final four overs as Mumbai Indians posted a total of 195/5 in the allotted twenty overs.
"We played some good cricket in the first half, the dropped chance proved to be costly, perhaps we ended up giving away another 40-45 runs, but it didn't matter in the end. I hope our batters take the confidence from this match and play knocks which will help the team win," Smith added.
With this win, Rajasthan gained two points and are at the sixth spot with 10 points the win has kept their playoff hopes alive after their previous loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The fate of Rajasthan now depends a lot on todays encounter between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders as a win for Punjab will keep the 2008 champions in the hunt for a top four spot.

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