Warner, Saha thrust Hyderabad into playoffs as KKR pay price of less NRR
3 Nov 2020
All hopes hung by a thread in the final game of the round-robin stage of the Indian Premier League 2020 as not only Sunrisers Hyderabad but also Kolkata Knight Riders and their fans eagerly awaited the fates of their individual teams. But the Sunrisers got the better of the situation as a second-string Mumbai was no match to the powerhouse performance from the Hyderabad unit, winning the Sharjah encounter by a mammoth 10 wickets.
While Shahbaz Nadeem and Jason Holder were the pick of the blowers with their tantalising and fruitful spells, Sandeep Sharma got the bulk of wickets, utilising his skillset in a sluggish track and the pressure built by these bowlers.
Forced to bat first after losing the toss, Mumbai, who were back with their original captain after a gap of four games, couldn’t do much and get up to only 149 in their allotted 20 overs. Chasing was going to be easy courtesy of the dew factor, but not as easy as Wriddhiman Saha and David Warner made it look.
They chased the target in just 17.1 overs, without losing even a single wicket. Forget about losing a wicket, they hardly even gave any chance to the Mumbai lineup.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony after the victory, Sunrisers captain David Warner said that It felt good to him and the team that they have qualified, especially after the dreadful loss against KXIP.
Acknowledging that it wasn’t the first side of the Mumbai Indians, Warner said that even after that his bowlers deserved the credit for restricting the blue brigade under 150. “They rested a few players but to hold them to 150 on this ground was great. A lot of credit goes to the bowlers, Nadeem was superb,” he said.
Impressing upon the fact that the attempt was always to be clinical in their performances, Warner said that the never say die attitude stems from the franchise owners. “We were trying to be as clinical with the bat then, and it feels good. We try and put our best foot forward, and that stems from the franchise owners. They are great people and it is like a family. We have a never say die attitude and that is how we approach each game,” he added.
Mentioning the injuries that the Sunrisers have had to make their way with, the 33-year-old said that all those players might not be here in person, but in spirit, they were supporting the Orange brigade from wherever they were.
“We had a couple of injuries but they are here in spirit and we are doing it for them. Kane missed out due to injury last year and Jonny took his place and was absolutely fantastic. But that happens in franchise cricket, we can play only four overseas players,” the Australian said.
Sending out a strong but subtle message to his opponents, Warner said, “We looked at 2016; we were in the same situation where we had to win every game to win the title.” If we can take this performance and momentum into the next game we'll be really happy,” he concluded.
Rohit Sharma, back after a hamstring match, ended up on the losing side and said that the humiliating defeat was ‘not the day to remember’ for the team, categorizing it as ‘probably the worst performance of the season so far.’
Justifying the changes, Rohit said, “We wanted to try a few things but unfortunately it didn't go our way. Losing wickets at the top doesn't help.” He further said that he knew that dew was going to play a big part, and therefore they wanted to take the toss out of consideration.
Updating on his injury, Rohit said, “The hamstring is absolutely fine. I am happy to be back on the park. Looking forward to a few more games here and see how it goes.”
Talking about the dew and how it might impact the upcoming games as well, Rohit said that they would not like dew to be the excuse for anything what so ever. “We play at Wankhede, which always has dew. So we don't want to be de-motivated when we lose the toss,” said the Mumbai captain. Further owning up the responsibility, he said, “We didn't have enough runs on the board to put any pressure on them. If you take wickets in the Powerplay, even if there is dew, it can put pressure on them.”
Talking about the qualifier, Rohit said that they could think of all the wins that they have had over Delhi Capitals including the two this year, yet that would not serve any purpose as every day is different.
“It is a funny format. I know you want to remember those two wins against DC but you have to stay in the present and keep doing the small things and keep ticking the boxes. You want to leave tonight behind as quickly as possible. We will get back to the drawing board tomorrow,” concluded the 33-year-old.
The experts were all awed by the sheer professionalism shown by the Sunrisers in a must-win game. Most of them also rated the orange brigade as the team to beat going into the Playoffs.
Former cricketer turned cricket expert Aakash Chopra said that Sunrisres bossed the game and Mumbai not playing their main players can in no way rob off the Hyderabad side of the credit that they played superbly.
Statistician Seervi Bharath picked out some very unique points from the tournament so far, trying to convey that it was the most interesting tournament and yet the most boring one as well.
For Harsha Bhogle, the senior cricket analyst, SRH winning the way that they did without needing anybody or any other situation's support was an achievement that sets them apart and make them deserving of the applauses that they have got.
Broadcast cricket journalist Vikrant Gupta praised Wriddhiman Saha saying that nobody at the start of the season would have imagined him to be the X factor for the Sunrisers.
Kolkata-based veteran journalist Joy Bhattacaharjya was impressed with the way Sunrisers performed in their last three games and said that the teams facing them in the Playoffs would be worried.
Gaurav Klara, as always suggested a very unique but innovative idea of putting Cameras in Kolkata Knight Riders' common room so that a Live Feed of their reactions regarding this match could also be shown to the viewers to make the experience more enriching.
Hyderabad would look to carry the same momentum going into the Playoffs, while Mumbai would look for a change for sure.
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