Punjab Kings (PBKS) bowler Sandeep Sharma was happy after his team’s win over Gujarat Titans (GT) on May 3 at the DY Patil Stadium and thanked the sticky wicket for helping the bowlers.
GT batted first after Hardik Pandya won the toss and barely managed to get to 143/8 with Sai Sudharsan making 65* and Wriddhiman Saha hitting 21. South African pacer Kagiso Rabada snared four wickets.
Punjab Kings then chased down the total with 4 overs to spare and 8 wickets in hand as Shikhar Dhawan made 62*, Bhanuka Rajapaksa made 40 in 28 balls and Liam Livingstone made 30* in 10 balls including 3 sixes and 2 fours in the 16th over to close the match.
"Today the wicket (the track) also helped us. It was sticky in the beginning, which helped the new ball to move and the ball was holding on to the wicket. We wanted to execute the plans that we had discussed with (head coach) Anil (Kumble) Sir and we were lucky that it happened today (last night),” Sandeep Sharma said at the post-match press conference.
"We bowled well in all the overs. We have very experienced bowlers in our team who have played in the league. So we wanted to execute the plans and if they got a partnership, we should stick to the plan in pressure moments,” he added.
This victory helped PBKS move to the 5th spot and according to Sharma, the Mayank Agarwal-led team is focusing on one game at a time from now.
"Now all the matches are crucial for us. But more important is that we take one game at a time, like we are mentally prepared for this match and came with a positive mindset, and similarly we go into the next game. And we will try to execute the plans. Yes, we have a good team, we lost two close matches, had we won that, we would have been better on the points table. As a group, we have left that behind and are focusing on the next four games, one by one," he said.
On the other hand, Gujarat Titans’ David Miller rued the regular loss of wickets and called it a cause for their loss. GT still holds the top spot in the IPL 2022 points table with 8 wins from 10 matches.
"It is difficult when you are losing wickets throughout. In the first 10 overs, we were under the pump and there were one or two brilliant moments from the Kings, with (Shubman) Gill getting run out with a direct hit. We didn't put enough runs on the board. It was a tough loss but something that we are going to dissect and talk about as a team going forward,” Miller said after the match.
He also said that the bowlers wanted to take the game as deep as possible but Liam Livingstone turned the game on its head with his brutal hitting.
"There is obviously a lot of dew out there, so bowling with a wet ball and the ball does skid on in the evening, so it was quite challenging to defend that (score). But our plan towards bowling in the back end was to try and take the game as deep as possible, but (Liam) Livingstone came in and played that knock in one over, that changed the game," he added.