Turning Point: Aiden Markram, The Finisher

Aiden Markram took charge of the Sunrisers Hyderabad run chase at a crucial time in the death overs following his strike partner Rahul Tripathi’s dismissal and ensured that he finished off what he had initially started off to do — see his team through to victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Friday, April 15, 2022

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While the Tripathi-Markram partnership of 94 runs off 54 balls laid the foundations of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s win, what was really impressive was the manner in which they kept the scoreboard ticking and required run rate in check.

At the halfway point of the run chase for Hyderabad, the task at hand was a tall one — 81 needed off 60 balls at a run-rate of 8.10.

Following a six off Sunil Narine’s first delivery in the 11th over, there was a sequence of 20 deliveries where both batters struggled to find the boundary and were restricted to a few singles every over.

The crucial moment arrived towards the end of Over 14 delivered by Umesh Yadav when Markram hit three back-to-back sixes that swung the momentum of the game in Hyderabad’s favour.

Two balls later, Tripathi was gone after holing out to Venkatesh Iyer off Andre Russell’s bowling.

Sunrisers still needed 43 runs off 34 balls to win.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man and Markram immediately took charge of the innings to such an extent that Nicholas Pooran, who joined him at the crease, was relegated to a bystander; the Trinidadian faced only five deliveries until the end of the game.

Markram took just 31 deliveries to bring up his second IPL fifty.

A four off an under edge and the six that followed left Varun Chakravarthy with figures of 0 for 45 from the three overs that he bowled, much in contrast to the 23 runs off the four overs that Narine conceded, although the West Indian too finished wicketless.

Going into the 18th over with 18 runs needed to win, Markram finished off the game in spectacular fashion — hitting a four and two sixes to seal the win in epic fashion with more than two overs to spare.

His post-match interview gives us a deeper insight into his strategy: ‘Nice to stay till the end and finish the game. I think it’s buying into suit the role that the side needs. Happy that things have fallen in place. The message is to play the situation.’

‘Rahul is aggressive and he is going to do the majority of the scoring in the partnership and from there I take over. Not a finished product, but happy to contribute. In the past we’ve taken it in the last over and lost the game,’ the South African said, ‘so thought of finishing it off quickly.’

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