“I found it easy to play with DK, I didn’t have to think too much, just play with him. He turned the momentum around in our favour. He’s very experienced and made me understand how to play in the centre, and which bowler to play. That’s why we performed well in the game.”

These words of praise from Shahbaz Ahmed for Dinesh Karthik amplified the importance of this seasoned wicketkeeper-batter in the role of a finisher after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s stunning victory over a previously-unbeaten Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

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‘Mental game’

For the Royals, Riyan Parag acknowledged that Karthik and Shahbaz took the game away.

“I think they played really well. Dinesh bhai was phenomenal. He came in and just took the game away from us. I don’t really think we made a lot of mistakes. I just feel they were better on the given day.

“Sanju (Samson) bhai was thinking that we should hold back a wicket-taking option for the end. But Dinesh bhai and Shahbaz did not take any chances in that over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. They played him really well. It was a mental game and they were too good.”