KL Rahul Shell-Shocked As SunRisers Hyderabad Chase Down 166 In 58 Balls. Says, “Am At Loss For Words”


PTI, May 9, 2024, 8:08 AM IST

Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul on Wednesday said they were completely outplayed by the incredible power-hitting of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, terming it “unreal batting.” Head and Sharma added another chapter to their remorseless domination over bowlers while carving lightning fast unbeaten fifties to power SRH to a convincing 10-wicket win over LSG in a crucial IPL match. Chasing a modest 166, Head (89 not out, 30 balls, 8x4s, 8x6s) and Sharma (75 not out, 28 balls, 8x4s, 6x6s) toyed with LSG bowlers, finding boundaries and sixes at will to canter home in just 9.4 overs.

“I am at loss for words. We have watched that kind of batting on TV. But this is unreal batting. Everything seemed to find the middle of the bat. Kudos to their skills. They have worked hard on their six hitting skills. They didn’t give us a chance to know what the pitch played in the second innings. It was hard to stop them as they teed off from ball one,” he said.

This was after SRH bowlers started brilliantly before Badoni (55 not out off 30 balls) and Pooran (48 not out off 25 balls) stitched crucial 95-runs off 55 balls for the unbeaten fifth-wicket stand to guide LSG to a competitive 165 for four on a sluggish pitch.

Rahul blamed the defeat on their poor display with the bat in powerplay, from which they scored just 27 runs for the loss of two wickets.

“Once you are on the losing side, there are question marks on the decisions taken. We were 40-50 runs short. When we lost wickets in the powerplay, we couldn’t get any momentum.

“Ayush (Badoni) and Nicky (Nicholas Pooran) batted well to get us to 166. But even if we would have got 240, they could have chased it as well,” he admitted.

SRH skipper Pat Cummins said that it was an “unreal” batting display from Head and Sharma.

“The boys (Head and Sharma) have had a fantastic season, but to win this with less than 10 overs played is unreal,” he said.

“We just let them go, they are two guys who are very positive and I’m a bowler, it is tough for me to give them any inputs.” Cummins was effusive in his praise for both Head and Sharma.

“He’s (Head) been like this for 2 years, he hits the tough areas, hits the middle a lot, might not be super conventional.

“(Abhishek) Just an incredible player of spin and pace. With just 2 fielders out, it is really difficult for the bowlers against them,” he said.

Head, who was adjudged player-of-the-match for his pyrotechnics, said he was really enjoying batting with Sharma as they compliment each other well.

“Lots of fun today. Nice to get this done in 10 overs. Abhi (Sharma) and I have had a few partnerships like this. Just concentrate on getting in good positions, watch the ball hard and try to maximise the powerplay,” he said.

“I know how hard he (Abhishek Sharma) works and how deep he thinks, his spin play is second to none. We compliment each other very well. Nice to see him back amongst the runs after missing out in the last couple of games.”

Abhishek thanks Lara, Yuvraj

After his hurricane fifty, Abhishek thanked two left-handers, who had thrilled the audience during their playing days, for his success in the on-going IPL — Yuvraj Singh and Brian Lara.

“I think the hard work I put in before the tournament is showing now, thanks to Yuvi Paaji, Brian (Lara) as well and my father, who is my first coach,” he said.

Abhishek also thanked the SRH team management for the trust shown in him.

“I would never think of coming to such a tournament and playing at such a strike rate, but thanks to the team management.

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“The message was clear from them and I backed myself.” There was a special mention of his opening partner — Head.

“All the credit goes to him (Head). The way he starts against all bowlers…he goes after them from the start and takes the pressure off me.”

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