Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday were left to rue the mistakes of the decisions that they took on the night against the Lucknow Super Giants. After being comfortably placed at the 16th over mark in the second innings, Aiden Markram threw the ball to part-time spinner Abhishek Sharma for his third over of the innings.
That over saw the end of Hyderabad’s chances. Lucknow were 114/2 at the 15th over mark, chasing 183. But the left-arm spinner ended up conceding 31 runs in the over, which saw Marcus Stoinis collect two and Nicholas Pooran collecting three sixes. SRH’s head coach, Brian Lara commented that the team played 39 overs of good cricket and that one over turned the tide.
"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,” Lara reflected on the loss in the post-match press conference.
“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 added.
On the over itself from Abhishek, Lara insisted that all six balls in the over gave an opportunity for the Lucknow batters to attack, which ultimately cost them.
"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,” he had to add.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are languishing in the bottom half of the table, on eight points, having played the one game lesser than the wooden-spoon holders Delhi Capitals. But Lara believes that the franchise should be higher on the IPL table, and have let themselves down multiple times during the season where they have not been able to close out games.
"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,” Lara said.
Despite putting on a show with the bat in the particular fixture, Lara begged to believe that the batting has been a major letdown for the franchise during the season. Truth be told, barring Heinrich Klaasen, none of the other batters have breached the 260-run mark this season, with Rahul Tripathi’s 257 runs coming pretty close. It shows why the franchise are ranked in the bottom half of the table, and Lara reckoned that if it was a 50-over contest, they would be in dire straits.
"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,” he added.
“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.”