IPL: Stokes's return to form gives power to RR batting

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 31 (IANS) After failing to get the runs in his first five matches as opener and copping criticism for it, all-rounder Ben Stokes has turned his form around with a couple of brilliant knocks that has helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) get back to winning ways.

Stokes’s 50 (off 26 balls)in the game against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)on Friday followed his unbeaten 107 (off 60 deliveries) against Mumbai Indians (MI) on October 25 and both innings helped his team chase down challenging totals.

Prior to the knock against MI, he had aggregated 110 runs in five matches and had even failed to hit a six. It prompted commentators to question his position at the top of the batting order.

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However, the left-handed batsman produced his last two match-winning knocks as an opener only and has also hit six sixes across those two innings.

Fellow RR all-rounder Rahul Tewatia said that the top-order, with Stokes clicking, has helped the team.

“Two-three of our batsmen were getting out early, now they are clicking,” Tewatia said after Friday’s game.

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“Earlier, the top-order hadn’t clicked, but now that it is scoring runs, our middle-order too is getting strong and we can see the strength. They are taking responsibility, showing intent and playing positive cricket. All this is reflecting in the results,” Tewatia added.

RR had lost three of their four games prior to the MI game. Even in the one game that they won during that run, against Chennai Super Kings, they had lost the top-order early in their chase of 125 before Jos Buttler stepped in to rescue.

–IANS

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