Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) As his team slumped to an eight-wicket defeat with 12 deliveries to spare despite putting up a total of 200/5, Sunrisers Hyderabad chief coach Brian Lara said they were outmuscled on a belter at the Wankhede Stadium.
SRH made a great start thanks to blazing half-centuries by openers Vivrant Sharma (69) and Mayank Agarwal (83) as they shared a 140-run opening partnership. But just when it looked like the openers would go for their respective centuries and help their team to a massive total, Akash Madhwal claimed a four-wicket haul by Akash Madhwal (4-37) to restrict them to 200/5.
Mumbai Indians chased down the challenging target thanks to a brilliant maiden T20 century by Cameron Green (100 not out) and a chance-filled half-century by skipper Rohit Sharma (56) as they reached 201/2 in 18 overs.
Lara said such a result was not unexpected on the typical Wankhede wicket as 200 has been chased quite a few times here.
The West Indies batting legend said he told Indian batting maestro, Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai Indians mentor, that they would have loved to bat on such a pitch.
“It’s a belter. I was just talking to Sachin and we were like we would love to get back out there on such a pitch. It’s always going to be a situation that whoever won the toss would prefer chasing because you don’t know what a good score is. Today we were outmuscled. We knew there was going to be a run-fest. We know that they have chased over 200 runs over here quite a few times. We were just outmuscled,” Lara said in the post-match press conference on Sunday.
Lara, however, praised his opening duo Vivrant Sharma and Mayank Agarwal and said they would take their partnership as a positive from this match. He also singled out young allrounder Nitish Reddy for praise and said the young man has a bright future.
“Finally we got a brilliant opening partnership that must be commended. We have got to take all the positives, not just from today but throughout the season. The SRH outfit is very young and potentially a very good outfit. I must single out Nitish Reddy. You haven’t seen him bat yet but I am sure the young man has a very, very bright future,” said Lara.
Nitish Reddy, the 19-year-old from Visakhapatnam (AP), is the winner of the BCCI ‘Best Cricketer in the Under-16’ Jagmohan Dalmiya award for the season 2017-2018.
Lara said Green’s innings also made the difference for Mumbai Indians.
“I used the word outmuscled. He was brutal. Take a man to the stage. Someone like that, his height, his reach, the leverage he has, when he gets the ball off the middle of the bat, it’s gonna go. A brilliant hundred. He bats fearlessly, I supposed that’s how he has been allowed to bat in the Mumbai Indians set-up. We all knew that he has the talent to go big. Credit to him to get his first hundred to him,” said Lara.
Asked what went wrong for Sunrisers Hyderabad in this campaign as they finished at the bottom of the points table with only eight points, Lara said they lacked consistency in both bowling and batting.
“That’s gonna take some time to answer. We were see-sawing between good bowling, sometimes bad batting and sometimes when we batted well, we didn’t have a good day in the field.
“In this sort of tournament, all 10 teams are very, very competitive. We can look back and say about 4-5 games that we really could have won and we could have been sitting in a different position today. Consistency is the key. The likes of Bhuvneshwar and Natarajan, are soldiers, they have been doing it day in and day out. But as a team, we need to be consistent,” he added.
He did not agree that SRH messed up in the auction itself as despite going in with the highest amount of funds, they failed to get players like Cameron Green, Sam Curran or any other top star.