England’s new batting sensation Harry Brook brought a high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders down to earth with a sensational 55-ball century as Sunrisers Hyderabad cantered to its second victory by 23 runs in an IPL match late Saturday (April 14).
Young Brook finally managed to crack the IPL code in style, with SRH managing a massive 228 for 4 in their stipulated 20 overs on a batting beauty. Their bowlers, despite some hammering from home skipper Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh, were restricted to 205 for 7 in 20 overs.
Brook, who was roped in after his exploits in Pakistan, finally announced his arrival in style, when he smashed four fours and two sixes inside the first three overs to give SRH the best start of the season.
Bought by SRH for a whopping Rs 13.25 crore, Brook had managed only 29 in first three games but found his rhythm with a 55-ball-100 as he smashed 12 fours and three sixes. This was 16th edition’s first century.
In reply, it was always going to be difficult for KKR to maintain a run rate of 11 plus per over, but skipper Rana (75 off 41 balls) did launch into SRH bowlers with half a dozen sixes and had Man of the Moment Rinku Singh (58 not out off 31 balls) for company in their 69-run stand in only 6.2 overs. This was after KR were reduced to 96 for 5 within first 10 overs.
Once T Natarajan got rid of Rana, it was left to Rinku to pull off yet another heist as 57 were needed off the last three overs.
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But Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29 in 4 overs) gave 10 in the 18th over while Natarajan (1/54 in 4 overs) went for 16 in the penultimate over.
With Rinku on strike and 32 needed off last over, Umran Malik (1/36 in 2 overs) came back well to dismiss Shardul Thakur with the first delivery and effectively sealing the game as the southpaw was stranded at the other end for first two deliveries.
Brook takes a dig at Indian fans
“I was putting pressure on myself a little bit. You go on social media and people are calling you rubbish. There’s a lot of Indian fans out there who say well done tonight. But they were slagging me off a few days ago. Glad I could shut them up to be honest,” Brook said after the match. While he predictably rated his three Test hundreds over an IPL ton, he was satisfied to get to the milestone with his girlfriend in the stands.
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“My four Test hundreds will have to be over this one,” he said. It was a “special night” and Brook insisted that he can bat at any position. “It was a special night. Thankfully, we got over the line as well. Got a little tense in the middle. A lot of people say that opening the batting in T20 is the best time to bat. “I am happy to bat anywhere. I’ve had a lot of success batting at five. Made my name there. The crowd was phenomenal tonight. I enjoyed it,” Brook said.
(With Agency inputs)