Hyderabad, May 13 Lucknow Super Giants skipper Krunal Pandya said the message sent out to the batters during the second time-out in the chase of 183 against Sunrisers Hyderabad was to go after the bowlers and get the momentum in their favour.
At 89/2 in 13 overs and the asking rate going in excess of 13, chasing down 183 was looking very bleak for Lucknow. Post the time-out, Prerak Mankad, Nicholas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis changed gears in a display of unbelievable big-hitting to take the side to a seven-wicket victory over Hyderabad with four balls.
Stoinis and Pooran were pivotal in changing the course of the match, smashing 31 runs in the 16th over bowled by Abhishek Sharma, including five sixes. While Mankad was 64 not out, Pooran smashed 44 not out off just 13 balls and Stoinis played a cameo of 45 off 20 balls.
“It was nothing special. It’s just that we had to go after the bowlers. Abhishek conceding five sixes changed the momentum. Really happy for Prerak. It will boost his confidence. Pooran can do wonderful things. We know that,” said Krunal in the post-match presentation ceremony.
He also appreciated his bowlers for keeping Hyderabad to 182/6. “I guess the way SRH were going it would be 200. We pulled it back, especially at the death. I saw the character in Avesh and Yash. It was a good total. We had to bat well, still, I would have taken 175. What we need as an individual and team is belief.”
Pooran further elaborated on the discussion during the time-out, post which Lucknow turned the game on its head.
“We spoke at the break, we felt we needed sixes to win the game. Once a spinner came in, we targeted him. Happy to walk in and hit sixes anytime. It’s important to target a sixth bowler. T20 is a batsmen’s game, and it is important to take risks.”
“He (Abhishek) is a part-timer for a reason. I have played international cricket, I know how to bat in different situations. I just put myself in and executed my skills. In T20 cricket, I prefer a longer time.”
Mankad, who top-scored with an unbeaten 64 off 45 balls to anchor the chase — which is his first IPL fifty, was given the Player of the Match award for breaking Lucknow’s three-game winless streak.
“It was the most important game. Score doesn’t matter to me. I wasn’t happy when I reached 50 because I couldn’t connect well. After that, I was able to. I was trying to hit against the spinners and couldn’t connect.”
“I have played against Mayank in the domestic circuit and I knew he would try to get me out. So I took my chance. I thank the management for the opportunity. I have played a few innings in the top four. so I know how to play and I just backed my ability. Stoinis gave me some wise advice at the end and it helped me.”
With Lucknow boosting their playoffs hopes, Hyderabad’s path has become trickier. Skipper Aiden Markram was left ruing the lack of partnerships from the batters and Abhishek being hit for 31 runs in the 16th over.
“Thought it was a decent score. We lacked one big partnership. Wicket played well, slowed down at the end. The message (to Abhishek) was to bowl into the wicket. Pressure is a different thing. When you are put under pressure by big guys like Stoinis and Pooran, you will be tested. Glenn (Phillips) did his job, I don’t think I was the man for the job (to bowl).”