Riding on Nitish Rana’s 42 off 31 and Rinku Singh’s 46 off 35, KKR posted 171/9 on the board in front of SRH’s clinical bowling display. In reply, SRH seemed to be struggling to execute their plans as they lost the rhythm after middle overs and could manage only 166/8 in 20 overs.
With nine needed off the last six balls, Abdul Samad took a couple of singles before going big but ended up losing his wicket. With 7 needed off 3 to win, SRH’s Mayank Markande tried to scoop over a fine leg and survived a stumping from Rahmanullah Gurbaz. A single later, SRH needed a six from the final delivery to win the match but Chakravarthy ended the over with a dot and KKR sealed a thrilling 5-run win.
IPL: KKR beat SRH to keep themselves in the hunt
Chakravarthy, who was adjudged the Player of the Match for two superb overs at the death in claiming 1-20 off his four overs, said he planned to challenge the batters to attempt to him towards the longest boundary in the stadium.
SRH vs KKR 2023 Highlights: Kolkata Knight Riders defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 5 runs | IPL 2023
Though from the outside he looked cool as a cucumber, Chakravarthy said his heartbeat was touching 200 as he bowled the 20th over of the SRH innings.
“My heartbeat was definitely touching 200 [beats per minute] but I just wanted to challenge them on the longer end so that was my plan,” said the 31-year-old spinner born in Bidar in Karnataka.
IPL 2023: KKR, Varun Chakravarthy hold nerve to defeat SRH
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Chakravarthy, who made his international debut in a T20 match against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in July 2021, said gripping the ball was very difficult on Thursday night because of the rain.
“Definitely the ball was slipping a lot and so my best bet was the longer side. That was the only thing on my mind. My first over went for 12 and (SRH skipper Aiden) Markram played some amazing shots. That’s how the game goes,” said Chakravarthy, who played his last international match against Scotland in the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai.
The KKR spinner said in such a situation it is very important to follow the process that he has developed over the years.
“It’s very important to stay in the process. Once emotions set in, I might tend to get carried away and forget my process. Last year, I was bowling around 85 kph. So I went back and was trying out many things and I realized that once my revolutions go down, my speed goes down. So I worked on my revs and that really helps,” said Chakravarthy, who played for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket.
Chakravarthy’s heroics helped KKR move up to eight points from 10 games and got into contention for the last playoff berth held by Rajasthan Royals, who have a game in hand. With Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians ahead by 10 points in a packed top half of the table, KKR will need similar fighting performances to win their remaining matches and get into the playoffs.
(With inputs from IANS)