Former Australia pacer Brett Lee complimented Kolkata Knight Riders' leg-spinner Varun Chakaravarthy for his composure while defending nine runs in the final over against Sunrisers Hyderabad, which he thinks was a situation where chasing teams are more fancied to get wins.
In a closely fought Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match on Thursday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad's chase of 172 was revived by a 70-run partnership off 47 balls between Heinrich Klaasen and skipper Aiden Markram. But Kolkata made a late comeback as Chakaravarthy conceded only 12 runs in the last three overs he bowled in the fag end to clinch a narrow win for Kolkata and take home the Player of the Match award.
"9 runs, 9 times out of 10, the chasing side would knock that off. There was one ball that could've gone for six but ended up being a wicket ball. That was a length where he could've gotten underneath that and sent it for six, but in hindsight, you've got to say they've done a terrific job.
I think that was good defending by KKR but equally, poor batting and a horrible display by the Sunrisers," Lee was quoted as saying by JioCinema.Ex-India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel lamented Hyderabad's choices, including hunting for a DLS win, when they could've chased the target down easily.
"KKR definitely won this game with the bowling changes they made, the way they trusted Varun Chakaravarthy with the last over," he said. "When Vaibhav Arora came to bowl, everyone wondered whether they should have let him bowl. But the Sunrisers' tactics weren't good.
They lost the game where they were thinking more about DLS in the 17th over when they defended the final three balls. They were ahead but the rain didn't stop and you can't just assume that the match will stop. Their tactics were questionable there. You expect they win the match from their position."
Former India batter Robin Uthappa questioned the way Hyderabad batted in this must-win match, especially on the shot selection front."They just fell apart there and there was too much for Abdul Samad to do in the end and he didn't have enough backing. The batters got off to a decent start, and Mayank Agarwal got off to a great start."
"This one was unnecessary (Abhishek Sharma's wicket), and the next one was even more unnecessary, just a disappointing shot after losing two wickets in the power play, you end up playing a big shot when you know there's a fine leg back then. It's a brain fade," said Uthappa.
"Rahul Tripathi has been struggling for runs and Harry Brook today didn't look like he was having the best time in India, besides the 100 that he got. Got out again without troubling the bowlers," he added.