When Chris Gayle is going great guns and you succeed in adding him to your wickets tally, you must be a happy bowler. Such was the case with Sunrisers Hyderabad’s leg-spinner Karn Sharma, who was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets in his four overs against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday night.
Sharma later claimed Rilee Rossouw and Yuvraj Singh, and it seemed as if it was going to be Sunrisers all the way with RCB reeling at 95 for five – still needing 61 runs off five and a half overs. AB de Villiers though had other plans and decimated the SRH bowling attack, chasing down the target with class and panache. For Sharma, it was a satisfying performance on a personal front, but from a team perspective, the loss hurt. “I am happy with my performance but a bit disappointed that we couldn’t win the game,” Sharma told IPLT20.com after the match. “We had done well throughout the game but just lost our way at the end,” he added.
When asked if he would rate his bowling performance of 3/17 the best this season so far, Sharma replied, “This is my best bowling performance this year. I got three big wickets for the side. My aim was to put them under pressure and not give too many easy runs.”
Getting Chris Gayle’s wicket is no mean feat when the hard-hitting left-hander is in the mood to dispatch every ball to the boundary. Sharma ultimately took his wicket and said that there was a lot of homework done before bowling to Gayle. “I had seen a lot of videos before the game about the areas that Gayle targets. My aim was to bowl to him on his pads and not give him any room to hit me freely. There is always a bit of pressure when you are bowling to someone like a Chris Gayle. But having said that, T20 is a format were anyone can get hit and pick wickets. I just backed myself and I am glad it came good.”
The Sunrisers went in with three quality pacers as Amit Mishra made way for Ishant Sharma. Karn Sharma being the lone spinner was ready for the responsibility. He said, “I was the only spinner in the side and I tried my best not to make any mistakes on the field. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself and just wanted to stick to my strengths and the basics.”
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar got two wickets in his very first over, dismissing Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli early in the innings. It was advantage Sunrisers as Sharma later went on to pick three more wickets and turning the match in his side’s favour only to be outdone by AB de Villiers. The RCB batsman did survive a chance as he was dropped at point by Karn Sharma, which according to him was the turning point of the game. “If I had held on to that catch, maybe the game could have swung in our favour. But it is part and parcel of the game; at times you hold on to those and sometimes they don’t stick to your hands.”
With just two wins of six games, Sunrisers have a lot of work to do. Sharma was optimistic of a good show from the team in the games to come. “Our hopes are still alive in the tournament. Our goal will be to play the remainder of the matches well, not to make the mistakes we did in this game and hopefully turn the results in our favour.”