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'Panic' cost Rajasthan place in final, says Sangakkara

By AFP

May 25, 2024 11:28 AM


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Rajasthan Royals had a "great season" but a "little bit of panic" chasing Sunrisers Hyderabad denied them a place in the Indian Premier League final, team director Kumar Sangakkara said late Friday.

Trent Boult led Rajasthan's charge in the second and last qualifier on Friday when he struck three early blows to help restrict Hyderabad to 175-9 in Chennai.

But inaugural champions Rajasthan, whose 2008 win under late Australian hero Shane Warne remains their only title, faltered in their chase and finished on 139-7.

It was a disappointing end for a team which held a top two position in the table for most of the season, only to lose four in a row at the end and slip to third.

They knocked out Royal Challengers Bengaluru during the play-offs but lost to Hyderabad, who will play Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Sunday, by 36 runs.

Former Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara blamed their defeat on "losing wickets in clusters".

"Wicket turned a little bit probably, but I think a little bit of panic and not building enough partnerships past that first wicket."

Rajasthan, led by Sanju Samson, won eight of their first nine matches this season but lost four out of the next five -- with the other game a washout.

But Sangakkara insisted his side had a "great season".

"All we can do is put ourselves in positions of play-offs and vying for finals, which we did," he told reporters.

"All the guys, throughout the season played really phenomenal cricket."

Rajasthan missed their opener Jos Buttler, who along with other England players returned home ahead of the play-offs to be with the national team for the T20 World Cup in June.

Buttler hit two centuries and was a force to reckon with in Rajasthan's chases.

But his replacement Tom Kohler-Cadmore made 10 in Friday's do-or-die match after scores of 18 and 20 in previous games.

"We always say that the best ability is availability and unfortunately we lost Jos," said Sangakkara.

"He is a big loss without a doubt. When you're in a playoff like this and you've got that start without Jos, we expect the other batters to also step up."


AFP


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