KKR vs SRH | Shreyas Iyer says he had ‘butterflies in his stomach from 17th over’

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Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain Shreyas Iyer walks off the field after losing his wicket during the Indian Premier League cricket tournament match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Kolkata on March 23, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer on March 23 admitted his wobbling nerves when Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Heinrich Klassen was going ballistic in pursuit of a stiff 209-run target in an IPL match in Kolkata.

Chasing a stiff 209, Klassen (63 off 29b) single-handedly brought SRH within sniffing distance of an improbable win before eventually falling short by four runs.

“Right from the 17th over, I had butterflies in the stomach! To be honest, I thought anything can happen in the last over,” Iyer said.

SRH needed 13 runs off the last over and odds were in their favour with a red-hot Klassen and Shahbaz Ahmed at the crease.

But Iyer decided to throw the ball to young Harshit Rana and he didn’t disappoint either. Rana dismissed both Klaasen and Ahmed to stifle SRH.

“Harshit was a bit nervous when he was coming to bowl (the last over). I told him, ‘Even if we lose, it’s fine’. I tried to calm him down as much as possible.

“(Sunil) Narine and (Andre) Russell have got a lot of experience. I am elated to see how Russell performed with bat and ball. Sunny (Narine) executed well.

“It is a luxury to have them in the team. Whenever you start with a win, it gives you motivation. There are areas we need to improve on as a team – fielding is one of them!”

SRH skipper Pat Cummins said he never thought they would come so close while chasing an imposing 209 if not for Klassen’s terrific knock, who was ably supported by Ahmed (16 off 5).

“Close game in the end, wonderful game of cricket. Unfortunately, didn’t go our way. I thought for the most part, really happy with how we bowled,” he said.

“It’s one of those games, goes one way or the other, amazing job by Klaas (Klaasen) and Shahbaz to get us back into the game and get us into that position. Who would have thought we’d get that close.

“Unfortunately, a little bit too much. In a game where we didn’t really pull it all together. We still almost competed against a very good side at their home venue, lots to be encouraged by, lot of good performers, a couple of points to work on also,” Cummins added.

The ace Australian pacer said Andre Russell just took the game away from SRH with his exploits with the bat.

Russell was at his destructive best, smashing seven sixes and three fours enroute to his unbeaten 25-ball 64.

“Obviously, Dre Russ (Russell) at the end does what Dre Russ does, he’s pretty hard to contain. Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job,” he said.

“You do your planning, you try to execute your best but a pretty tough guy to bowl to, played some good shots, couple of balls maybe we could have bowled a little bit differently but the toughest job in cricket is bowling at someone like that in the end.”

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