Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Shardul Thakur spoke about skipper Nitish Rana's confusion on whom to bowl the last over against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday, May 4.
Defending just nine runs off the final over, Rana eventually decided to task Varun Chakaravarthy to do the job. The 31-year-old leg break bowler had bowled the 16th and the 18th overs, and kept a lid on the scoring by conceding just six runs off the two overs.
Thakur also had a good day with the ball, with figures of 2/23 in his three overs, causing a dilemma for skipper Rana. However, the KKR skipper went ahead with Chakaravarthy, who conceded just two runs and a leg bye, leading KKR to a five-run victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Speaking to the IPL social media handle in a conversation with Chakaravarthy, Thakur said:
"The last over, there was confusion, nitish called me to bowl that last over and then suddenly he felt 'should I bowl with varun', he did actually ask me and I said ok, if that's what your instinct says then go with it. So he handed you the ball and it was one of the brilliant overs that we've seen in this year's tournament, last over defending nine runs not easy, I am sure your heart was pumping hard."
Chakaravrthy responded by saying:
"My heart rate was definitely about 200, so basically the plan was to challenge them to hit in the bigger end and God willing it worked."
KKR batted first and posted a competitive total of 171-9 in their 20 overs on the back of impressive 40s by skipper Nitish Rana and the in-form Rinku Singh. In reply, SRH were coasting in the chase when the South African duo of Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen were at the crease with just 48 runs required from six overs.
However, the pair's dismissals in quick succession pumped the brakes on the scoring, resulting in SRH eventually folding short of the target.
With the victory, KKR kept their playoff hopes alive with four wins and six losses, moving ahead of SRH to the eighth spot in the points table.
"The ball was slipping a lot and my best bet was longer side " - KKR's Varun Chakaravarthy on his bowling after victory against SRH
Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Varun Chakaravarthy spoke about bowling the last over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and his plans considering the wet ball post KKR's five-run victory in Hyderabad on May 4.
After an expensive start to his spell, where he conceded 12 runs in his first over, Varun gave away just eight runs off his next three overs, including just two off the final over.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Chakaravarthy spoke about his plans in the last over and his subtle changes from last year. He said:
"The ball was slipping a lot and my best bet was longer side and that was my only hope. My first over I went for 12 runs, Markram hit me for 2 fours and that's how the game goes. Last year I was bowling around 85kmph, I was trying out many things and I realized that I needed to work on my revolutions and I did work on it."
After a disappointing season last year, where he picked up just six wickets in 11 matches, Chakaravarthy is back to his best this year, picking up 14 wickets in 10 games.
KKR will take on the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in another crucial encounter at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday, May 8.
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