Regardless of a late comeback by SRH’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/30), GT scored 188/9 as Shubman Gill slammed 101 off simply 58 balls — his maiden IPL century. GT then restricted SRH to 154/9.
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“Very proud of the boys, two in two (making it to the play-offs twice in a row). The boys put their hands up and in challenging situations and we rightly deserve the playoff spot,” Hardik stated on the post-match presentation.
“There will be expectations and for me it was important to focus within the group. We ticked a lot of good boxes, we made a lot of errors but we were always there in the game and tried to stay consistent,” he added.
After Gill and Sai Sudharsan (47 off 36 balls) laid the inspiration for a powerful complete with their 147-run partnership for the second wicket — which was nevertheless wasted by the opposite batters — the likes of Mohammed Shami (4/21) and Mohit Sharma (4/28) shone with the ball to chop brief SRH’s marketing campaign.
Impressed with their effort, Hardik referred to as himself a bowler’s captain.
“Bowlers are very close to my heart. Sometimes batters take a lot of credit, for me I will always be a bowler’s captain and ensure they get due credit that they very much deserve,” Hardik stated.
Recalling his IPL debut towards SRH, man-of-the-match Gill stated it has come a full circle for him.
“My IPL debut was against SRH, now I’ve my IPL hundred against them. Quite pleased. It’s come a full circle. Hopefully I’ll get more hundreds this season,” Gill stated.
“I’m not the kind of person who dwells too much on my last innings. The focus is on what’s needed at the moment. The most satisfying moment was to hit Abhishek (Sharma) for a six because he is my childhood friend.”
Out of reckoning for a spot within the play-offs, SRH skipper Aiden Markram stated his group will play for pleasure in its remaining two video games.
“A lot of pride for us to play for. We’ll try to give some opportunities if we’re allowed to. It’ll be nice to finish off the tournament in good spirits but unfortunately, we haven’t been good enough in the tournament this year,” Markram stated.
“When a team is one down in the backend, it can go either of the two ways. It was important to break the partnership and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) did that for us. He’s been exceptional for us and Nattu (T Natarajan) as well.”
(With PTI inputs)