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‘I Fear We May Run Out of Luck in the Knockouts’: Hardik Pandya After Nail-biting Finish Against SRH

Umran Malik’s fiery spell had almost scripted the sixth consecutive of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday night at the Wankhede stadium. But the duo of Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia came from behind, outfoxing the ‘Orange Army’ by five wickets to go to the top of the points table.

After being put to bat first, Abhishek Sharma (65 off 42), Aiden Markram (56 off 40) and a late blitz by Shashank Singh (25 not out off 6) powered SRH to 195/6 in 20 overs. In reply, wicket-keeper batter Wriddhiman Saha smashed a solid half-century (68 off 38) and kept Gujarat alive in the chase.

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But, lower down the order, it was Rahul Tewatia (40 not out off 21) and Rashid Khan (31 not out off 11), who kept Gujarat in the game till the last over. GT needed 22 runs in the last over of the innings bowled by Marco Jansen and Tewatia hit one six while Rashid smashed three sixes to take their team over the victory line.

After a close finish, GT skipper Hardik Pandya lauded the efforts put by his teammates and said each and everyone in the dressing room is backed all the time.

“I keep joking in the dressing room that God is telling us ‘You guys are good, I’ll help you’. It’s happening so often that I fear we may run out of luck in the knockout games. We keep a very chilled atmosphere and everyone is stepping up. We’re ensuring that the players are backed well,” Pandya said at the post-match show.

When asked about his bowling fitness, Pandya said, “It’s just a conscious decision to manage my bowling, plan is to bowl whenever the team needs me. It’s a long tournament and I don’t want to get too excited early. We’re quite practical, we’ve spoken about winning these situations and there is a lot of self-belief in the camp. It’s important to keep the calm in the dugout, a lot of credit goes to the support staff for how they’ve been handling the players.”

Gujarat will now face Royal Challengers Bangalore in their next fixture on April 30 at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

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