Barely a week into the tournament and the IPL has already sprung up nail biting moments, last over finishes, excitement and edge of the seat thrillers to the fans all over. Such was the case at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad, as the twenty five thousand plus capacity crowd witnessed one of the most exciting finishes of the tournament.
Feet went cold, there were shivers down the spine, sweat on the forehead and the mouth went parch as the match between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Royal Challengers Bangalore went into a one over eliminator. Earlier, the Royal Challengers Bangalore had scored 130 runs in their twenty overs and the Sunrisers in their reply could manage only a tie.
One of the most respected spinners in the world, Muttiah Muralitharan spoke exclusively to IPLT20.com after the match, sharing the mood in the dressing room during the one over eliminator, and throwing light on the game overall.
When nails were being chewed and some of the players in the RCB camp were still disappointed with the loss, Muralitharan in his casual self, wearing a calm look said, “It was a fifty-fifty game. Both teams could have won.”
Murali also told, that there was no sense of nervousness in the camp when the match went down to the wire. When Thisara Perera and Cameron White walked down for the one over showdown, Murali said that the RCB were confident of chasing anywhere close to fifteen runs. “Actually we thought if we could restrict SRH to less than 15 runs, we had a good chance because we had the likes of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli who could chase it down. It was going to be tough to get twenty in one over.”
Though Vinay Kumar; who bowled the pressure cooker over was hit by Cameron White for two sixes, Murali said, Vinay had done a good job. “Vinay bowled really well. He had picked up a wicket in his four overs previously with a good economy. Unfortunate that he bowled a no-ball in the very first delivery of the one over eliminator. But that is how it goes, you have to put it behind and look forward.”
Look forward, they have to as they face the same opponents on Tuesday, but this time at RCB’s fortress. The game might have gone the Sunrisers’ way here in Hyderabad, but Murali insisted that their bowling had to be appreciated for defending such a low total. “I think we bowled really well to restrict them to 130. As such 140 or 150 is a par score here according to me. We bowled well and picked wickets regularly, but unfortunately it went to a tie and they got the better of us in the one over eliminator. They won the match, they got the results and we can only look forward from here.”
Murali also reserved his special mentions for Moises Henriques who scored a 40 ball 44, stitched a 43 run partnership for the fourth wicket, the highest of the RCB innings and also picked up two wickets.
“I think Henriques played really well and his bowling also came to the fore in this game. He is a big addition for us in the team. AB De Villers is on the way and our team will only get stronger in the games to come.”
Muralitharan, just like the man himself, looked confident of RCB’s progress in the games to come; and when asked as to what keeps the forty year old Lankan going even at this age playing the fastest and the shortest format of the game he quipped, “I enjoy my cricket and want to continue giving my best.” A parting shot with a gentle smile on his face.