Archer signs off with a win

DELIGHTED: Rajasthan Royals' Jofra Archer celebrates after scoring the winning run against Kolkata Knight Riders. Archer made unbeaten 27 of 12 balls. AFP

Jofra Archer on Thursday hit the winning six to complete a successful run chase for Rajasthan Royals and end his Indian Premier League campaign on a high.

Archer, a bowling all-rounder who made an unbeaten 27 off 12 balls as Rajasthan chased down their target of 176 in 19.2 overs, and team-mate Ben Stokes return to be with England ahead of the World Cup next month.

Indian teenager Riyan Parag smashed 47 off 31 balls before being out hit wicket in the penultimate over and Archer then completed the chase with a four and a six in the final over.

"I am really excited. The tournament didn't go as well as we liked, but moments like these really make me cherish playing for Rajasthan," Archer said after the win.

"Anyone that comes in to replace me and Stokesy will do a great job, I'm sure of that.

"I'm grateful for Rajasthan to take a chance on me, having not played any international cricket," the 24-year-old Archer added.

Uncapped Archer, who is included in next month's one-day internationals against Pakistan and Ireland, has a chance to make the World Cup team. The final World Cup squad deadline is May 23.

Stokes is part of England's 15-man preliminary World Cup squad.

The Barbados-born Archer, who recently qualified to compete for England after their cricket board changed its residency rules, made an impact with 11 wickets in 11 games with an impressive economy rate of 6.76 in the IPL.

Stokes though had a forgettable IPL, scoring just 123 runs in nine matches for the inaugural champions. He picked six wickets with his pace bowling.

Rajasthan are lying seventh in the eight-team table with just four wins off 11 matches so far but skipper Steve Smith lauded the contributions of Parag and Archer in the win against Kolkata.

"Riyan Parag, isn't he an impressive young man? And some great contributions from Archer and (Shreyas) Gopal too," said Smith, who will also return home next week to be with Australia ahead of the World Cup.

"Jofra and Stokesy are off tonight, so two big holes to fill. I'm here for 13 games," said the former Australia captain who returned to the IPL after missing the previous edition due to a ball-tampering scandal.

 

 

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