Daredevils batsman talks about the nail-biting last-ball finish in a must-win game
It was yet another nerve-wracking last ball finish for the Delhi Daredevils, who finished on the right side of the result to keep themselves in the reckoning for a spot in the VIVO IPL 2016 playoffs. Top-order batsman Karun Nair played a determined knock to pull the home team across the line against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and set the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Naya Raipur abuzz with excitement.
With a new partner, Sanju Samson who had joined him in the penultimate over, Karun helped beat SRH by six wickets. With 11 runs required off the last over, the pair had picked only five off the first four deliveries and then the DD No. 3 batsman smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar past mid-off after he was handed the strike. He then beat David Warner to the boundary off the last ball to take the team to an all-important win.
Speaking to iplt20.com about the last over, Karun said, “I was a bit nervous because I think we (had) slowed down a little bit in the last couple of overs. I am really happy that I could take the team through to the end and stay there not out at the end.”
“I was just thinking of getting that one boundary. In two balls we needed to get one boundary. There was nothing going on in my mind apart from staying positive and staying still,” he had said while speaking to the media.
During his 59-ball stay after coming to the crease in the second over, Karun had built a solid 73-run stand with Rishabh Pant to set-up the game, followed by useful stands with JP Duminy, Carlos Brathwaite and Sanju as he anchored the innings. “It was a really good wicket to bat. It is a big outfield so it was difficult to get the boundaries. So what we concentrated on was running hard and hitting the ball in the gaps,” he told iplt20.com while talking about his plan and how he built partnerships during the 83-run knock.
Asked what his advise to each of his partners was as the match headed to a tight finish, Karun said, “It is just that we needed partnerships and just to rotate the strike and find the gaps. There was nothing much that we were talking about; (we were) just (trying to) get the partnerships to get through.”
With the pressure of a must-win game staring at them, the team held their nerve to beat the table-toppers. Speaking about the team’s preparations, the batsman said, “We were just thinking of winning one game at a time, we weren’t thinking of anything else, just one game at a time. So I am really happy that I was able to contribute to the team’s victory and now we go into the next game with the confidence to win that game as well.”
“There was no pressure put on us. We had to play one ball at a time and look for a win. It is one game down now and one more to go,” he mentioned, when asked about the directions from the team’s coaching staff.
Speaking about the timely match-winning knock and how he rated it, Karun stated, “It should be my best knock because first of all it is my highest score in the IPL, the team won (at the same time) and I remained not out as well. So (it was a) really satisfying knock and I hope I get one more in the next game and then more in the playoffs.”