We should have been sitting high on the points table – Lara

IPL 2023

We should have been sitting high on the points table – Lara

by crickethighlights.one Staff • Last updated on Sun, May 14, 2023

Having posted a challenging total of 182/6 on the board, Sunrisers Hyderabad were on the money with the ball as they conceded only 30 runs in the powerplay against Lucknow Super Giants. By the time the 15th over was completed, LSG had upped the ante, scoring 84 runs in the middle overs (7-15) at more than nine an over. But still needing 69 to win off the last five overs, the pressure was on LSG. The 16th over of the chase, however, changed the equation completely.

SRH handed the ball to Abhishek Sharma and he ended up being hit for five sixes – two by Marcus Stoinis and three by Nicholas Pooran – in a 31-run over. It was easy sailing for LSG after that as Pooran (44 not out off 13) along with useful contributions from Prerak Makad (64* off 45) and Stoinis (40 off 25) helped their side to victory with four deliveries to spare. This was yet another game that SRH were in control of but weren’t able to close out, a fact that head coach Brian Lara was quick to point out.

Speaking about the 16th over and the decision to hand the ball to Abhishek, Lara said: “I suppose you can say that now, in hindsight. Obviously it did not work out for us. It was a stage where we had one over of spin to bowl. We always back our fast bowlers to get the job done. So we knew that one over was going to be attacked. Unfortunately all six or seven balls they had an opportunity to score. We got a wicket with one of it. But so be it. Sometimes these things happen. We’ve had our luck, we’ve seen in the tournament other teams pulled off amazing victories and we got to give it for Lucknow Super Giants for the way they played right till the end.”

SRH are precariously placed at the ninth position with only eight points in 11 games, but Lara hasn’t ruled out their chances yet. “It’s a situation where we should be sitting down pretty high on this table. We’ve had some close games and games that entering the final strides of the game, we were ahead. And we did not close it off. It’s fair to say we could have been well-placed in this tournament and it’s not the case now. We’ve got three games left and we’ve got to get the guys motivated to get results in these three games. It’s not over and I would hate to see heads drop and attitudes drop. I would like to keep it as upbeat as possible and see if we can get wins in the remaining games.”

The SRH head coach also lamented the lack of contributions from the majority of the batters while he praised Heinrich Klaasen and Abdul Samad for putting up a partnership in the latter half of their batting which has helped the team post a good total. He also felt it was an above par score but the one over made all the difference.

“It’s not consistent. The highest run-scorer, I don’t think has crossed 300 runs for the tournament. That is not cutting it for a batting unit. You can piece partnerships together, that’s the good thing about this game, it’s such a short version of the game you get two or three partnerships. As you saw with Klaasen and Samad, you get some partnerships going there and then you know you can get a total. If it was a 50-over game, we’d be in dire straits, factoring with the way we’ve been batting. But you must commend a player like Klaasen, a player like Samad, for what they’ve been able to do from being in precarious situations and trying to still put a total up for us.

“I felt today we were above par. When I saw a couple of deliveries from Krunal Pandya, I thought ‘well, we’ve got spinners and we can use the conditions’. For a majority of the game…the way our opening bowlers restricted LSG in the powerplay, they were just tremendous to see and it was always going to be an uphill battle for them after that. And just that one over, if we can take that off our back, it could be a different story,” said Lara.

The home record hasn’t been great for many teams in this edition of the IPL, especially so for SRH who have just one victory in six outings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Having dominated against LSG for the majority of the match, SRH slipped to their seventh loss. Lara felt for the supporters of the team and apologised on behalf of the side for their poor results at home.

“Our performances at home, the results that we got at home – one win in six games – doesn’t equate to the support that we’ve been getting. We’ve been getting tremendous support here in Hyderabad, great home support. Coming to the ground, the roads are lined up, even leaving the hotel. So we are hurting as a team.

“All I can say is sorry for the results. I know the guys tried their best and the guys are hurting as well. I suppose it’s the time where we sort of reflect. We have got three games left and we have to play good cricket. Today it was a situation where we literally played about 39 overs of good cricket. The 36th over of the game is where things went a little bit bad for us. Obviously very, very disappointed and I can speak on behalf of everybody in the squad,” Lara said.

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