Sandeep Sharma relished picking the prized scalp of Virat Kohli as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets to stay alive in IPL 2020.
Sandeep dismissed Devdutt Padikkal and Kohli as the medium-pacer returned with figures of 4-0-20-2 to help Sunrisers restrict Bangalore for 120/7. In reply, Sunrisers chased down the total in 14.1 overs to eke out an easy victory.
“I have been bowling the knuckle ball, Jonny (Bairstow) has been helping me. It took around three or four months to get it right. Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen, so getting him out is special. Now we are finding the momentum with one game to go. We are excited about that, let’s see what happens,” Sandeep who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match said.
Winning skipper David Warner, who decided to bowl first, heaped praise on his bowlers, who executed their plans to perfection by restricting Bangalore to a below-par total on a slow surface.
“Coming into this game, we knew we had to beat the top two teams in order to progress. We got one more to go against Mumbai. Losing Vijay is a big miss. For us we have worked out, how to go about at the top of the order. With the bowling, all the credit goes to them. We are finding the right balance and the right partnerships. To go for less than 20 in 4 overs, it’s ridiculous. The wicket is slowing up a bit, the bowlers got to adapt to it. Tonight the bowlers have executed it well,” Warner said.
Jason Holder delivered the goods, after being included in the second half of the tournament and the West Indies Test captain played his role with both bat and ball.
Holder recorded 2/27 with the ball and then hit an unbeaten 26 off just 10 balls, including three sixes to keep Sunrisers in the hunt.
“Dubai has been the same, I think it gets dewy here. It wasn’t a surprise at all. Holder’s a great all-rounder. To bowl a bouncer against someone like him, you have to dig it very short. It’s great to have that consistency. We knew we had to win today, and that’s the case in the next game. In 2016 we had to win three games and we did that,” Warner said.
Losing skipper Virat Kohli conceded that the total wasn’t enough and that the game against Delhi Capitals will be an important one for qualifying into the playoffs.
“It was never enough. We thought 140 might be a good total to sort of get into the game on that kind of wicket. Things changed drastically in the second innings. There was a lot of dew which we didn’t quite predict, they got it right at the toss eventually.
“In the end it was very difficult to hold the ball. Strange one. In between, we thought the weather has become pleasant and there wasn’t any dew, but last few games in Dubai and here as well there has been dew. The pattern keeps changing but regardless you need to have runs on the board. We weren’t brave enough with the bat throughout the innings and credit to them – they used the pitch well and the change of pace,” Kohli said.
“It is a competitive tournament and you can’t take any games lightly or any teams for granted, the situation is in front of us – we have to win our last game to hopefully finish in the top two. It also gives teams a chance to make a comeback.
“Having said that it makes you aware of your downfalls as a team and things that you need to correct going forward. It is going to be a cracker of a game with both teams locked in at 14 points. I have always been a Bangalore boy in the IPL never sort of drifted towards Delhi,” he added.