Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Steven Smith heaped praise on Shane Watson who smashed a brilliant ton against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Mumbai on Saturday. This match-winning knock of his powered the Royals to the Playoff stages of the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015.
Watson remained unbeaten on 104 runs from just 59 balls. His innings included nine fours and five huge sixes. With the help of his ton they managed to put a commanding total of 199 runs on the board. And later, KKR fell short of the target by just nine runs thereby losing their hope of defending the title.
"It was outstanding, especially given the situation it came in. Shane and Ajinkya (Rahane) set up a very good platform for us and Shane just carried it on throughout the whole innings.To carry your bat through in a game like this is a remarkable feat and it really set the game up for us brilliantly.
"He played some really good cricket shots to start with and then began to play some of the bigger shots. We know how powerful he is and when he strikes them clean, they go big. He gave himself a good chance and played a chanceless knock," said Steven Smith in an interview to the official website of the IPL.
It was few days ago that Smith relieved Watson off the captaincy so that he could focus on his game and come with a better performance, as the Royals lost their winning momentum midway through the IPL 2015.
"That's what his plan was when he handed the captaincy over to me. He said that he wanted to have a clear mind and execute his skills in the best possible way. He did that perfectly with the bat tonight and he was very pleasing with the ball as well," said Smith.
Rajasthan Royals are the second team to qualify for the playoff stages of the IPL 2015. They had a brilliant start to this tournament, but lost their way in the middle and now by defeating the defending champions they would be high on confidence before going in to play in the playoffs.
"From here on it is going to be a new tournament for us. At least we have to treat it like that. Every game is now a must-win game and we have to come out with the same attitude that we came out with tonight. Hopefully there are some more big results in store for the Royals," Smith concluded.