IPL 2023: Harry going for Brook serves well for Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Englishman scores first century of this edition as Aiden Markram's side win by 23 runs

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Sunrisers Hyderabad's Harry Brook celebrates after scoring a century against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday. — PTI
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Harry Brook celebrates after scoring a century against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday. — PTI

Published: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 11:43 PM

Twenty20 cricket has arguably become one of the world’s most popular sports and Friday’s Indian Premier League match-up between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders provided further evidence to suggest it is.

An absolute run fest, albeit aided to some extent by an astonishing number of dropped catches, the 19th match in a tournament that has held a nation spellbound, delivered another game for the ages.


After 40 electrifying overs were bowled, a resurgent Sunrisers recorded its second successive win in four matches when denying a fearless Knight Riders by 23 runs in a match that yielded a mammoth 433 runs.

Even as cricket statisticians worked frantically to record every incredible detail of the game, one could not but applaud some of the most stirring performances with the bat by the likes of Harry Brook and Aiden Markram for Hyderabad and Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh for Kolkata.


Here are five highlights of the match.

Going for Brook

What an innings by Harry Brook, the record-breaking England Test batsman, who displayed an absolute master class at the Eden Gardens, that even had home fans standing up in their seats to applaud his 55-ball unbeaten century.

There was so much to like about the way Brook, 24, managed his innings as an opener to stamp his aggressive brand of Test cricket-style on the Twenty20 format.

It was mesmerising to see the young Englishman smash boundaries off attempted leg-side yorkers to rake up 66 runs off just 26 deliveries against the Kolkata pace attack of Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell.

Clearly, Sunrisers will be hoping for more fireworks from Brook to help it keep alive their hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Markram cameo

If Brook put the KKR pacers to the sword, Markram was just as explosive against the spin bowlers, smacking 42 off 22 in a cameo for the third wicket, in a breathtaking 62-run partnership.

The captain of the South African T20 team, Markram displayed outstanding innovation at the crease, hitting half-volleys and googlies over the ropes. He even forced the bowlers to search for greater variation and tricks when taking calculated risk with the reverse sweep shot.

Middle-order acceleration

After Varun Chakravarthy got the dangerous Markram, Abhishek Sharma arrived at the crease to assist Brook in hauling Hyderabad to a total from which they could dominate.

A strong batter on the off-side, Abhishek scored an invaluable 32 of just 16, singling out leg spinner Suyash Sharma and Narine for punishment. Forcing them to toss the ball, the talented 22-year-old from Punjab made merry in the slog overs.

A bridge too far

Despite being throttled early in the chase, when it lost three wickets for just 20 runs, Kolkata stuck to its guns and gamely chased the target.

Rana led from the front with an audacious innings of 75 to keep his side in the hunt. Working singles and twos and waiting for the right balls to punish, he found an exciting ally in Rinku, who has become one of the finds of the tournament.

Rinku proved that the five sixes he hit in KKR’s stunning last over victory over Gujarat Titans was only the start of many dynamic knocks that he is capable of playing. Keep your eyes on this talented left-hander.

Catch twenty-two

Despite some dreadful fielding in the deep, where catches were dropped at regular intervals, Sunrisers held its composure under the motivating Markram in extreme pressure.

During nets, a lot of emphasis is placed on fine tuning and this is where the team’s management will be looking to strengthen its fielding and push the players to work even harder on taking catches.

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