Navi Mumbai, April 17: Sunrisers Hyderabad pacemaker Bhuvneshwar Kumar revealed that he was aware that Punjab Kings deputy captain Shikhar Dhawan would face him for cap in Sunday’s match at DY Patil Stadium. Dhawan had started the innings by getting a limit through the middle of the wicket against Kumar in the opening.
But the pacemaker in his right arm recovered in his second over to take out Dhawan for eight from 11 balls. Dhawan’s firing meant that Kumar overtook Zaheer Khan and Sandeep Sharma (by 52 wickets) to be the leading wicket-taker in IPL power plays with 53 scalps.
“There was no swing so I looked to hit him back a long. That was my plan against Shikhar as I knew he would go out there and go for the edge. I looked to hit a strong long and find the top edge and luckily that’s what happened,” he said. Kumar after the match.
Kumar again brought out Shahrukh Khan and Liam Livingstone to finish with figures of 3/22 from his four overs. The three-wicket haul meant that Kumar became the first Indian pacemaker and seventh overall to take 150 IPL wickets.
Other pacemakers on the coveted list are Wes’ Indies’ Dwayne Bravo and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, while the Indian bowlers in the exclusive club are Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Yuzvendra Chahal and Harbhajan Singh.
“I looked to play my field as well. I try to throw at the batsman’s weakness or the size of the ground. The wicket and my skills are what I look at,” Kumar said of his crucial three-wicket run for Hyderabad.
Complementing Kumar from the other end was the fast young Umran Malik, who bagged 4/28 in his four overs, his first four-wicket run in IPL. Kumar joked, “Rather than helping me, it means I’m a target as hitters think I’m slower. But watching him throw fast and get wickets is a joy. I expect others to chase me down and get me to wickets and not to the limits.” The seven-wicket win over Punjab means Hyderabad now sit fourth in the points table with eight points and face Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 23 at Brabourne Stadium.