Millennium Post

Royals still hopeful of qualifying

Their campaign has been thrown haywire after the four-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings but Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Johan Botha says his team still has a chance of making the Indian Premier League playoffs.

'It was a bad loss against Chennai but we can still make it to playoffs if we win the three remaining matches. The fact that we have to play two against lowly Pune Warriors and Deccan Chargers and the last against Mumbai Indians gives a little chance. While the other teams fighting for a playoff slot will be playing against big teams,' said Botha.

Referring to the match against Chennai, Botha said it was close and the visitors finished it very well.

'We were right there most of the time but the guys (S Anirudh and Albie Morkel) played a couple of good shots and took the game away from us. It was disappointing but we still hope to reach playoffs,' Said Botha.

When asked if the rain had any bearing on the results, the South African all-rounder said there were no excuses.

'It is always a disadvantage for the batting side if the game stops due to rain but we put in a good effort to reach around 130 but would have loved a few more runs. Despite this it was a close game and there are no excuses and credit should be given to guys who finished it off very well,' he said.

Refusing to concede that Australian quickie Shaun Tait was a bit erratic, Botha said the slinger gave a few runs only in the last over.

'I don't think he was erratic at all. Infact he bowled his first three overs at blistering pace and gave away only 8 odd runs. It was only in his last over that he was taken for few runs,' Said Botha.

Talking about the pitch, Botha felt that it was the easiest of wickets.

'Some of the batsmen said that the ball was stopping a bit but I was not behind the wicket to know much about this.'

Echoing Botha's views on wicket, Chennai Super Kings pacer Ben Hilfenhaus said the conditions suited him and he was happy the way things had gone.

'The pitch offered bounce and movement when the ball was new but it lost some bounce when it became old,' He said.
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