Hyderabad: Kris Srikkanth, mentor of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, has termed the franchise's qualifying for the play-off stage of IPL 6 as similar to when India made it to the knock-outs of the 1983 World Cup after entering the tournament as rank underdogs. Hyderabad entered the last match of the league stage needing a win to secure a spot in the final four and did so through a solid fielding performance that limited defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders to 130 and were guided in the run-chase by 40s from their openers followed by a cameo from Darren Sammy after a brief wobble.
Speaking to the IPL website in Hyderabad after the win, Srikkanth said: "My memories went down to the 1983 World Cup. Nobody gave us a chance in the World Cup that year, but we qualified and won at the end of the day. The feeling today is quite similar as no one gave the Sunrisers a chance in the tournament, and today we have qualified for the playoffs."
Shikhar Dhawan, who continued his good form with 42 off 35 balls in an opening stand of 89 with Parthiv Patel, told the website that the feeling of having qualified for the IPL 6 play-offs was "amazing". "I feel it was a great opening partnership between me and Parthiv. We got off to a good start and did the job for our team. Also, hats off to Darren Sammy who held his nerve to finish the game for us. Its amazing to see our name in the top four."
Dhawan also praised Hyderabad's potent bowling attack for restricting KKR to a gettable score despite not having the injured Ishant Sharma on the field. "We have a lethal bowling attack with Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma adding firepower in the beginning and at the death; and we have quality spinners like Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma who thrive in pairs in the mid-innings."We have a similar logic with respect to our batting too," he said.
Hyderabad's next match is against Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator to be played in New Delhi on Wednesday.