Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner has credited his bowlers and fielders for his team’s comfortable 22-run win over two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL Eliminator in New Delhi on Wednesday.
After posting 162 for eight, riding on Yuvraj Singh’s 30-ball 44, Sunrisers came up with a fine bowling and fielding effort to restrict KKR to 140 for eight, thereby progressing to the IPL Qualifier 2 for the first time since making their debut in 2013.
Sunrisers will now take on the losers of Qualifier 1, Gujarat Lions, in the all-important second qualifier on Friday for their first appearance in an IPL final.
“The bowlers have shown fantastic appetite. The experience of injured (Ashish) Nehra was a big miss for us. His experience is second to none. But the guys have stepped up. Barinder Sran has been bowling really well. He is still learning and big credit goes to Bhuvneswar Kumar because he has been helping him (Sran) a lot day in and day out. That’s the good thing about this team that everyone is willing to learn,” Warner said, praising his pacers.
“The pleasing thing from my point of view is the way we fielded in the match. We were pretty sloppy throughout the tournament. But the guys came out and took some very good catches. I was very pleased with our ground fielding,” he said at the post-match press conference.
Warner, though, felt Sunrisers were some runs short after being put in to bat first by KKR.
“I thought we were probably 10-15 runs short. Before the toss I was in two minds whether to bat or bowl. I always felt playing here in the past when you get good runs on the board and put pressure on the opposition it’s always hard to get going. That’s how we felt when we were batting,” he said.
Warner also praised young KKR left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who returned with figures of 3 for 35 to deny Sunrisers a big score.
“We talked about not losing in clumps. But I was really disappointed the way I got out. Yadav bowled well on the turning track. But it’s always hard for a young bowler to come and bowl to an experienced player like Yuvi. He is going to be a good spinner in the years to come definitely,” Warner said.
Asked about their next match against Gujarat Lions, the Australian said: “We know who their key players are. We know they have got very good firing power. Dwayne Smith has been playing very well. Their openers are going to come hard. For us it’s about starting well as a unit whether we bat or bowl first. We need to make sure that we execute our plans.”
Yadav felt the target was chaseable. “The target was chaseable. It was not that a big one but a decent target and we should have achieved that,” he said.
He also said he was satisfied with his own performance. “My job was to pick up wickets in the middle overs and I am happy that I could do that for the team. But it was challenging to bowl to Yuvraj Singh. He is a legend.”
Asked about the turning point in the match, Kuldeep said: “According to me, the turning point was Yusuf bhai’s (Pathan) wicket. We kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.”