AB de Villiers wasn’t the only South African to impress in the IPL on Sunday, as Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Chris Morris notched up his best ever bowling figures in the tournament, albeit in a losing cause against the Chennai Super Kings.
Morris, once the holder of the best T20 figures in history, picked up three wickets for just 19 runs against his former side, in a spell which included 12 dot balls.
It had been a frustrating tournament for the Titans star, with just five wickets from his first eight matches, but the Royals were rewarded for their patience with him as he burst into life in Chennai, and he even finished on 16 not out from 10 deliveries in his side’s unsuccessful run chase.
He helped his side restrict Chennai to 157-5 from their allotted overs, but the Royals battled to track it down and ended up short on 145-9. Despite their incredible start to the tournament, it leaves them in a precarious position as they aim for the playoffs. Morris spoke to iplt20.com, and was disappointed with the outcome.
‘Pretty happy with that but disappointed with the loss,’ he said. ‘I thought it was a par score that they got. I honestly felt we had a good chance half way through the game but credit to them for bowling really well. It is very disappointing.’
Their last group match is against the Kolkata Knight Riders, and they need a victory to all but ensure their progression.
‘KKR are a very good side and they are on a roll at the moment. They will be a very difficult team to beat with all the spinners they have. It will be a tough game, but so has every game that we have played. We will have to win it somehow, it’s as simple as that.’
Shane Watson has relinquished the captaincy, and countryman Steve Smith took over for the first time against Chennai – a decision which Morris respects as his side look to extend their stay in the competition.
‘It is a tough job to captain a T20 team, especially when you are bowling first and your mind is a bit all over the game. And then you come off and strap your batting pads on in 10 minutes. It becomes a bit of roller-coaster game. I doff my hat to Watto for giving up the captaincy and taking more responsibility for his batting. It was a responsible thing to do. We all appreciate it as team men and move on from there.’