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IPL 2024: ‘As a group, this was one of our better performances’, says Nathan Ellis after win vs RR

For Nathan Ellis, the pacer from the suburban Greenacre in Sydney, the opportunity to play his first game in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League couldn’t have come at a better time. With the performance he put on, yes, it does raise questions as to why he didn’t make the Punjab Kings eleven earlier, but there’s no point in dwelling in the past.

On Wednesday, with PBKS already out of the competition, Ellis hardly faced any pressure going into the contest against the Rajasthan Royals. The team didn’t even decide what it would opt for if it won the toss.

“Coming to the ground, we didn’t know what we wanted to do—bat or bowl. Later, I think we also decided on batting first. Losing the toss wasn’t the desired outcome. But I was happy. We bowled first, which gave us the chance to set the tone for the day,” Ellis said during the post-match press conference after PBKS beat RR by five wickets.

RELATED: ‘We just didn’t get enough runs in the first innings,’ laments Shane Bond after PBKS loss

Ellis bowled four overs at a miserly economy of 6.00, a rarity in modern T20 cricket. He also took the all-important wicket of the opposition skipper, Sanju Samson. He said, “Obviously, in the position we’re in, for us, we were sort of playing for pride today and trying to put in the best performance we can. I think collectively as a group, this is probably one of our better performances. We adapted to the conditions and built partnerships. It’s probably a complete performance. Just really happy for the guys to get some rewards in what’s been a bit of a challenging tournament.”

On how the surface behaved at the ACA Stadium in Guwahati, Ellis said: “The wicket was a little bit slower than expected, but it was still a pretty good wicket. In the PowerPlay, was where the game could have been won or lost and we both lost wickets there. I think batting-wise, the PowerPlay was the best time to score and we both probably didn’t have the greatest ‘PowerPlayers’. And then from there the ball got a little bit softer and both teams lost wickets.”

The 29-year-old went on to heap praise on his captain Sam Curran, who scored a match-winning unbeaten 41-ball 63, before shifting his attention to Jitesh Sharma (22, 20b, 2×6), who hasn’t had the best of tournaments.

Prior to the match against RR, Jitesh had scored only 133 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.30 and a strike rate of under 125.

“Sam and Jitesh did really well. Sam gave himself some time and played a really perfect knock, but I think a lot of credit should go to Jitesh today. He’s had a bit of an unfortunate tournament, not the tournament he dreamt of. But today he could have easily gone out there and thrown his wicket away, played his style and been really aggressive. But he shut shop and got himself in and got some runs, which was really needed for us. And you could argue his innings, you know, got us over the line just as much as Sam’s did.”

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