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Mumbai: Rajasthan Royals director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara believes Ravichandran Ashwin handled the match situation really well by ‘retiring’ at the right time, but the Sri Lankan great conceded that he played Rasi van der Dussen ahead of Riyan Parag. Made a mistake by not sending it.

Royals became the first team in IPL history to use the ‘retire out’ strategy as Ashwin was dug out despite scoring an unbeaten 28 during their game against LSG on Sunday. “It was the right time to do that,” Sangakkara said in a post-match press conference.

“Ashwin himself was also asking from the field and we had discussed just before that what we would do.” South Africa’s van der Dussen, playing his first match of the season, was sent at number four ahead of Shamiron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin and out-of-form Parag.

However, he was dismissed cheaply for four while Parag hit a crucial six in the last over to help RR close to 170. “As coach I got a call wrong before Rasi van der Dussen not to send Riyan Parag and hold the rope back, so we couldn’t get full advantage of Riyan.”

“But how did Ashwin handle that situation, going under pressure, he batted, supported the team and then finally sacrificed himself in terms of retiring and then backed it up with a brilliant bowling effort ” LSG needed 15 runs in the final over, pacer Kuldeep Sen performed brilliantly under pressure and the Sri Lankan legend praised the rookie.

“I didn’t have any conversation with Kuldeep before the last over. He was supported by Sanju, Jose and other players around him. We had very simple plans in terms of bowling at death. “I just want to say how impressed everyone, especially I am with how Kuldeep Sen handled his first game; How he bowled, how he thinks… He bowled the toughest over under pressure and did a great job for us.”

We believe Stoinis can win us matches: Rahul

Lucknow Super Giants managed to hold on to the last over despite their top order failing, while Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis came in at number eight, scoring 28 off 12 in his first innings for the team. Captain KL Rahul said, “In 20 overs we were confident that we can win this match.”

“We have depth in our batting, today Stoinis batted at No 8, when you have someone who has so much strength and who is such a destructive batsman… that’s why he is our second retained player (draft pick).” Rahul is confident that Stoinis, a proven match-winner for his previous franchise Delhi Capitals, can do the same for LSG. “We believe Stoinis can win us games from any position, we believed it and through.”

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