One of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s biggest acquisitions in the auctions a few years back, Manish Pandey, is yet to display his full potential with the franchise. In a crunch fixture, Pandey led the way in the absence of Kane Williamson to forge the franchise’s first-ever 100-run stand involving an Indian pair.
Coming in at a precarious situation of 4-1 in the very first over against a steaming Jofra Archer, the former KKR batsman looked at ease from the very first ball itself.
Following the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, the responsibility was shouldered upon Pandey who was joined by Vijay Shankar, who was promoted to the number 4 spot.
Pandey unleashed carnage in the powerplay with RR never seeming to recover from their initial spark. The batsman soon brought up his fifty in twenty-seven balls and was adamant to take his side across the finishing line.
Post his match-winning unbeaten 83, Pandey stated in the post-match presentation that it was high time that the middle order performed for the side. He said:
“There were enough talks around our middle order. High time for us to perform. I just wanted to stay on the wicket and play my shots. Really happy that it came off today. We had the opportunity to win the game for SRH, really happy I’m standing here,”
After a 140-run stand for the third wicket marked SRH’s first successful run chase in this edition, Pandey added that they executed their plans of targeting the leg-spinners and the Indian bowlers. The in-form duo of Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal ended wicketless in their collective eight-over spell as SRH coasted to victory with 11 balls remaining.
“We had a plan to take on the leggies and Indian bowlers, and it paid off. The first ball I middled through covers and I tried to keep my shape. I was hitting it well and I tried to get my team over the line,”
Warner pleased to see Pandey and Shankar being rewarded for their efforts
SRH skipper David Warner heaped praise on the match-winning duo for their efforts out in the middle, which has instilled some life back in their quest for a playoff spot.
“Good to see two guys (Pandey and Shankar) getting the reward for their hard work. It’s good to show people that we do have a middle-order. We haven’t lost early wickets before, so they haven’t got a chance,”
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