Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson had "no answer" to the dismal performance his batters dished out in the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, getting bundled out for 59, the third-lowest innings total ever in the IPL. (More Cricket News)
Faf du Plessis' RCB won the match by 112 runs after posting 171 for five. The visitors finished off the opposition in just 10.3 overs with South African quick Wayne Parnell emerging the most successful bowler with 3/10 from three overs.
The famed Royals batting simply crumbled with the home team reduced to 5/28 in powerplay from which it could never recover.
On the floundering campaign in the second half of the IPL, Samson said, "That is a great question, actually. I was thinking about it and where it went wrong. Sorry, I do not have an answer for that."
Four Royals batters, including openers Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal, were out for duck, while Sanju Samson could only score four runs.
Samson, though, put up a brave front saying IPL is a tournament where a turnaround can happen within a couple of days.
"We all know the nature of the IPL. We know things can change in a couple of days. Funny, funny things happen at the end of the league stages. We have to be strong, be professional and think about the game we are playing in Dharamsala. You have to keep your hopes high and try your best," he added.
The margin of defeat means the Royals' net run rate has taken a severe beating even as RCB leapfrogged them on the points table to be placed fifth with 12 points, while RR, stranded on 12 points, dropped to sixth.
The Royals skipper said their strategy to go hard in powerplays had come unstuck, adding that his batters had little choice but to take risks, given the wicket was going to slow down as their innings progressed.
"We usually go hard in the powerplay but that did not quite happen today. It will take some time to assess our display. That is the nature of T20 cricket, you have to go hard in the powerplay, knowing that the wicket will slow down.
"Today, it did not work out. That (match) could have gone to the wire, it could have been a tight match if we had a decent powerplay. I felt that (RCB's score) was a par score on this wicket."
RCB skipper du Plessis said the improvement in the net run rate (NRR) after the big win will do his side a world of good. He added the pitch was really difficult to bat on and that the later order batting by Anuj Rawat (29 not out) helped the team past 160.
"We needed it, in terms of the NRR. It was a really difficult pitch when we batted first. Even in the powerplay, the ball was keeping low and we felt that 160 would be a good score. Those hits towards the end pushed us to a very good score. We have not quite managed to do it (finish off strongly) well."