The final over of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) innings in their IPL 2020 clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was an eventful one, containing as it did a beamer, a lost shoe, a hidden message, and two massive sixes.
The over began with RR struggling to make the best out of a bad situation, a slow start leaving them at 139-6, and needing big runs. With Jofra Archer taking a single of the first delviery, Rahul Tewatia was now on strike. As Navdeep Saini steamed in for his second delivery, Tewatia stepped away in an attempt to make room to play it through the off-side.
Saini, having spotted the move, followed Tewatia with his delivery, but perhaps not as he’d intended. It was a beamer – the commentators reckoned the ball slipped out of Saini’s grasp – and it caught Tewatia flush on the chest. He collapsed to the floor instantly, even as the bowler and the nearby fielders rushed to him.
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Tewatia was in pain, but seemed to cope with it well enough, apart from the fact that he lost one of his shoes as he fell to the floor. Sticking to that theme, the cameras caught something interesting on Saini’s feet as well. Inscribed on the inside of his right boot was the message, “F*** it! Bowl fast”, a message he followed to the letter, though perhaps not quite as he had in mind.
Something about all that sparked something in Tewatia. Having received treatment, he was back on his feet, ready to face the free hit. It was on good length, but a seemingly effortless swing of the bat sent the ball 83 metres, high and into the stands. Saini was shaken. The next delivery was a full toss, and Tewatia once again swatted at it, this time just beating the fielder at the deep square fence.
SAINI SHOES pic.twitter.com/UKodjNQzDu
— #4RJUN (@FlashFromRash) October 3, 2020
A single then got Archer back on strike to face the final delivery of the innings. Once again, however, the batsman copped a blow, although this time, he had only himself to blame. Archer tried to ramp the ball over the keeper, but completely missed it and was struck on the helmet. He was mostly unscathed, his pride notwithstanding.
RR ended up setting a 155-run target for RCB. It posed no real challenge as half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal helped them chase it down with eight wickets to spare. The result left RR at the sixth spot on the table, with two losses in four matches.