Mumbai Indians earned a comprehensive six-wicket win over RCB thanks to Suryakumar’s stunning 35-ball 83 and Nehal Wadhera’s unbeaten 52.
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MI chased down the target of 200 with 21 balls to spare as Suryakumar struck seven fours and six sixes during his sensational effort while adding 140 runs for the third wicket in only 66 balls with Wadhera.
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“I said Nehal, let’s hit it hard and hit it into the gaps and run hard. Your practice has to be the same what you intend to do in matches,” said Suryakumar after the win.
“I know where my runs are. We have open net sessions. I know my game. I don’t do anything different.”
The 83 against RCB on Tuesday was Suryakumar’s highest IPL score. His previous best of 82 came in the 2021 IPL season. It was also Suryakumar’s fourth half-century this IPL season.
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The 32-year-old middle-order batter added that RCB bowlers tried their best to pitch deliveries in areas where he had to work hard on hitting boundaries.
“Much needed (win) from team’s point of view. I am very happy to win a home game like this. I mean they (RCB) come up with a plan. They tried to make me hit to the bigger part (longer boundaries). Take the pace off and bowl slow,” said Suryakumar who is known for his 360 degree hitting prowess.
Wadhera too was in awe of his senior player’s batting, saying some of his cricketing shots are hard to emulate.
“Surya bhai is a top-class player and I also try to copy some of his shots but I cannot. While he was batting, I was talking to him and he was saying ‘keep playing, keep playing’ and he was giving me confidence,” said Wadhera.
“He told me, ‘If both of us bat till the 15th-16th over, we can finish the game even early.’ And that’s what we did. The previous game which I played against CSK, I played a scoop. Earlier I didn’t play, after seeing Surya bhai bat, I also learned from him and I am very happy.”
Promoted at No. 4, Wadhera struck his second fifty of the IPL season. The left-handed batter struck four boundaries and three sixes to make 52 not out off 34 balls.
“It was fun batting up the order, earlier I was batting down. I got an opportunity to bat up and I got back-to-back fifties.
“I am happy with my fifty but I am more happy that my team won and I hope we continue to do so. I have the confidence within me that if I keep on batting till the end, I can finish the game for the team,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)