Shikhar Dhawan played one of the best T20 innings I have ever seen: Brian Lara


Sunrisers Hyderabad lifted themselves from the bottom of the points table after a convincing eight-wicket win over Punjab Kings in their third game of the IPL 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday night.

Chasing a modest 144 for the victory that the visitors notched up thanks largely to PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 99 runs, the Sunrisers romped home with 17 balls to spare.

Rahul Tripathi’s 74 runs and skipper Aiden Markram’s 37 runs put together an unbeaten 100-run partnership. Earlier, leg-spinner Mayank Markande starred with the ball for the Sunrisers, bowling beautifully to claim 4/15 in four overs. The dangerous Sam Curran and Shahrukh Khan were among his victims. Pace bowler Marco Jansen too bowled well, taking 2/16 in three overs.

JioCinema IPL expert Aakash Chopra heaped praises on the way Rahul Tripathi handled pressure early on and took his side home and said, “He had played a very ungainly inning to score 34 runs in the previous match in the Lucknow stadium. Anyway, sometimes you need to play these ugly innings’ to come into form. The hard work in Lucknow paid off today. He batted really well, despite the fact that there was slight pressure when two wickets fell and it seemed the total might get difficult to achieve, but Rahul Tripathi’s stature is growing with time. Last season also he scored runs but this year, he has come as an Indian-capped player now. He has secured promotion and this responsibility as a capped Indian player suits him.”

Earlier, Mayank Markande played a key role in restricting the Punjab Kings to a modest total and Aakash Chopra believes he will get more such chances, “Mayank Markande started with the Mumbai Indians and then he came around the Indian team as well. After that, he was like a passenger; he came to Delhi, then Rajasthan, and he didn’t get a chance to perform. But here he got a chance and utilized that opportunity really well. He will get more chances like these to perform after this.”

Shikhar Dhawan played one of the most memorable innings in the history of the IPL and was adjudged the Player of the Match.

Wickets kept falling at the other end and he played a lone hand and missed a well-deserved century by just one run. His performance impressed Sunrisers Hyderabad’s head coach, the legendary Brian Lara as well.

Lara said, “I must commend Shikhar Dhawan. I think it is one of the best innings I’ve ever seen in T20 Cricket, the way he shepherds the strike and totally just controlled the game.”

Chris Gayle too spoke of Dhawan’s performance and said, “Shikhar was fantastic for his team, and when you keep losing wickets around you, it’s never going to be easy, and to hold the steady nerves and to actually get to that particular total and get to 99 as well, and I thought he deserved a hundred and that’s one of the best innings you will ever see in the IPL as well.”

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