Shahbaz Ahmed refuses to celebrate POTM award and SRH's win against RR, says ‘will save it for IPL final against KKR' | Crickit

Shahbaz Ahmed refuses to celebrate POTM award and SRH's win against RR, says ‘will save it for IPL final against KKR'

May 25, 2024 01:59 PM IST

After getting the POTM award, Shahbaz was asked how he would celebrate his performance. The SRh all-rounder said he would save it for IPL final against KKR.

Shahbaz Ahmed is incredibly level-headed as a cricketer. He doesn't let setbacks dampen his spirits, neither does he get swayed by success. It helps that he's no longer a rookie in the IPL anymore. The Sunrisers Hyderabad traded him from the Royal Challengers Bengaluru ahead of IPL 2024, expecting to get a solid hand in all departments. He didn't disappoint them. The Bengal all-rounder produced a match-winning performance in the second Qualifier against Rajasthan Royals to take SRH to the IPL final after six years.

Shahbaz Ahmed speaks after receiving POTM award
Shahbaz Ahmed speaks after receiving POTM award

Coming in as an Impact Player, Shahbaz Ahmed played a decisive role with both bat and ball in SRH's 36-run win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. But just like he didn't doubt himself after getting out for a duck to Mitchell Starc in the first qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders, he was not ready to let the success against RR get to his head.

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After getting the Player of the Match award, he was asked how he would celebrate his performance and SRH's entry into the IPL final. The left-arm spin-bowling all-rounder said he would save it for Sunday. "Celebrate toh final jeet kar hi karengey. Aj bas relex karenge, (We'll save the celebrations for after the final. For now, it's about relaxation," said Shahbaz with a smile.

SRH will meet KKR in the final on Sunday and the 29-year-old has already set his sights on the trophy.

Shahbaz made the biggest difference. After opener Travis Head was out for 34 off 28 balls at 99-4 in the 10th, Ahmed replaced him as the impact substitute and led the lower order with 18 runs.

Then he plunged Rajasthan into batting trouble on the slow pitch when he stopped Yashasvi Jaiswal on 42 off 21 and dismissed Riyan Parag and Ravichandran Ashwin in the same over.

Rajasthan was 79-5 in the 12th over, and Sharma finished off the Royals' hopes.

Abhishek Sharma had already removed captain Sanju Samson for 10 and came back to bowl Rajasthan impact substitute Shimron Hetmyer on 4. Sharma added two catches and they had the game won after 19 overs, when the run rate was beyond Rajasthan.

Shahbaz Ahmed leaves a telling 'Impact'

Shahbaz also made a useful contribution with the bat. He made a run-a-ball 18 while coming in as an Impact Player. "The captain and coach said that we'll use you according to the situation. My role is to play lower-order and since we had a collapse, I got a chance," Shahbaz said after the match.

The SRH all-rounder said he got an idea about the pitch when he was batting in the middle. "When I was batting, I felt this wicket had something when Sandeep and Avesh were bowling. I felt there would be a purchase later. (His SRH experience, being traded, not playing every game) I am feeling proud to be Player of the Match in such a big match. The team environment has been relaxed. I have enjoyed my journey throughout," he added.

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