Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan believes if a full 20-over second innings was possible, his team had the bowling arsenal to defend their paltry total of 128 against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 Eliminator played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
“If you look at the Bangalore wicket this year, there have been very low scoring matches. I thought around 130 was par score there, and if we had a 20-over game, we would have had a good chance because the wicket was up and down and spinning,” said Muralitharan after Sunrisers Hyderabad crashed out of the Indian Premier League.
Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in a rain-affected game via the Duckworth Lewis System to enter the Qualifier 2. Following a rain stoppage of clos to three hours after the Sunrisers Hyderabad innings, Kolkata Knight Riders were left to chase a revised target of 48 in six overs which they achieved at the cost of three wickets in 5.2 overs.
“If we had taken two-three early wickets in a 20 over game we would have had a better chance than playing a six-over game where the opposition has 10 wickets in hand, in wet conditions and the ball skids a lot. It is all part and parcel of the game and they deserved to win. It was a good toss to win,” said Muralitharan.
The play finally got underway at around 12.55 am and the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s coaching staff was seen having ,long discussions with the umpires and the curator in what looked like they were protesting about the conditions.
“We gave the message to both the umpires and the groundstaff to make it as dry as possible because it has to be fair for both teams. They had a good outfield when they fielded and the ball didn’t get wet, so same conditions should be there for us because one side shouldn’t get advantage. When it is wet, it is very difficult for the bowlers, so we should get a fair chance,” revealed Muralitharan when asked if he was happy with the conditions his team bowled in.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s innings never really took off. Their batsmen adopted a cautious approach and when asked if that was their strategy, Muralitharan said: “The wicket was not great to play shots and if we would have, we would have ended up being bowled out for 70 or 80. We were thinking of putting around 140 runs on the board and if we had got to defend our full total, we had the bowling to defend.”
“Unfortunately, we ended up 10 runs short and they bowled well. But, if we had taken two-three early wickets they would have struggled. As you have seen here, teams have won with totals of 135 to 140. Unfortunately it rained and you can’t complain.”
Overall, the coach said the Sunrisers Hyderabad team was proud of their performance. “We had a very good season. Last year we won the title, so sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. We are all disappointed for losing today but (overall) we are very happy. We will take it on the chin. I congratulate all my players, they played really well for us and hopefully we will try to secure a similar team for next year and will look to fight for the trophy next year.”