Sunrisers Hyderabad continued their dominance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday (April 14) as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets to register their third successive win in the cash-rich event. Whether it was with the bat, ball or in the field, Kane Williamson and company were at the top of their game.
After opting bowl first, SRH restricted KKR to a paltry total of 138 and their fielding played a massive role in it. In particular, Manish Pandey was in top form as he plucked two of the most stunning catches of this year’s IPL thus far.
Firstly, he dived towards his right at backward point to latch on to a Nitish Rana stroke and then ran backward to cover a lot of ground from the same position to hold on to a skier from Andre Russell. Moreover, he was a constant live-wire on the field and saved quite a few runs with his ground fielding.
Speaking after the match, Pandey said he is glad to have contributed to the team’s wickets column and also credited the hard yards put in the practice sessions.
“I keep waiting for such chances to come to me in matches, so that I take those half chances and create an extra wicket as a fielder and help the team. This is what we discuss in team meetings,” Pandey told Bhuvneshwar Kumar in an exclusive chat for IPLT20.com.
“The catch of Nitish at point came quite fast. Since he was a new batsman we were standing close to save single, and he hit it quite hard. I did not have much time after the fumble but it is a result of the effort we put in the practice,” he added.
Explaining the catch of Russell where he had to run backward to cover a lot of ground, Manish said: “The catches that one has to take by running backwards are obviously a lot more difficult, but I was pumped up after the first catch. Russell’s catch was very important because he was in form and he had got runs in the last match (against CSK).”
“The moment he hit the ball in the air, I was sure that it was me who had to go for the catch. I did not want me to go halfway and someone else to come halfway. When I turned back I tried to cover the full distance, and the earlier you get under the ball the easier it becomes for you,” he elaborated.
Pandey said they practice such boundary catches in order to improve their awareness, but plucking it during the match depends on the luck factor as well.
“Awareness comes from practice. We take so many boundary catches at practice. It is lucky when such things come off in matches. I felt really nice to stop that six, but I also became a bit greedy and wanted to take that catch too. But overall we fielded well as a team and hope to continue to do as a team,” Manish Pandey concluded.
SRH will now play their next match against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday (April 19) in Mohali.