IPL 2021: Avoiding Warner was key to my bowling plan, says RCB hero Shahbaz

Filed on April 15, 2021
Shahbaz Ahmed of the Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrates the wicket of Abdul Samad of Sunrisers Hyderabad. (IPL)

Warner played for long that’s why I came into the attack late, said Shahbaz

Royal Challengers Bangalore spinner Shahbaz Ahmed, who bowled the match-winning 17th over against Sunrisers Hyderabad, said that he was introduced late in the attack because David Warner stayed long at the crease.

The left-handed SRH skipper departed after playing a knock of 54 runs in the 14th over of the clash.

Kyle Jamieson sent him packing and handed SRH a second blow. In the next over, skipper Virat Kohli introduced left-arm spinner Ahmed as Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow, both right-handers, were at the crease. Ahmed gave six runs in that over and returned back for the 17th over.

SRH were 115/2 before the start of the 17th over. But Ahmed scalped three wickets in that over and turned the tide in favour of RCB. He bagged Jonny Bairstow (12), Manish Pandey (38) and Abdul Samad (0).

After the 17th over, SRH’s score read 116/5 and the side managed to reach 143/9 in their allotted 20 overs but failed to cross the line.

Shahbaz returned with the figures of 3-7 in his two overs while pacer Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel bagged two scalps each.

“It was a nervous situation, Warner played so long that’s why I got the 17th over, but the wicket was helping as it was offering grip and the captain knew that. Those two overs changed the game for us. I’m happy to contribute to my team’s victory,” Ahmed said in a video posted by RCB’s official Twitter handle.

Harshal Patel, the hero of RCB’s opening game against Mumbai and the Purple Cap holder, also shared his experience.

“I was very clear about my plans. I knew what I wanted to do. I was confident that I will be able to execute it. It was just one of those errors that happened and luckily we got out of the other side of the game,” Patel said.

RCB Director of Cricket, Mike Hesson, said Harshal’s first over gave them the idea that which lengths are going to work on the wicket.

“Harshal’s first over it went for four and it just showed that if you take the pace off the ball, you hit those good lengths that we are still in the game. We needed an over like that just to know we could crunch it down and then we just started to squeeze, squeeze and squeeze,” Hesson said.

RCB will next lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

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