Really tough to lose a game like that: Amla
Hashim Amla was on song as he milked the bowlers en route to a beautifully compiled 96 which ensured that Kings XI Punjab set Sunrisers Hyderabad a competitive target. The opener drove and lofted the ball with finesse as he shaped the innings at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. The 56-ball knock was a treat for sore eyes as runs piled up for the Murali Vijay-led side in their last game on their home ground.
A batsman in the classical mould, Amla not only entertained with some silky strokes but also revealed a few shots from the AB de Villiers mould that got him runs on leg side. Unfortunately his heroics werenít enough as Yuvraj Singh scaled down the 180-run target with two balls to spare.
While reflecting on his own knock and the defeat, Amla also lauded the SRH left-handerís efforts in the game.
You set the pace with three boundaries off Ashish Nehra and went on to a play a beautiful knock. Can you tell us about the knock?
Really grateful to get some runs on the board. It was a good wicket to bat on, (though) it got a bit slower towards the end. We tried our best to get as many runs as we could, so just happy to get some runs. (But) it is really tough to lose a game like that. Kings XI Punjab have been trying really hard to get the momentum. We have won and we have lost; but we have done some good things and hopefully we will take some learnings for the next game.
Do you think you could have had a few more runs on the board the way you were going?
The wicket wasnít an easy wicket. I think the way Yuvraj batted, he made it look very easy. When he is on song he usually plays a very special knock. It wasnít an easy wicket, but we got whatever runs that we did. Unfortunately not the best result for us.
How do you approach batting in T20?
I try and keep it a bit simple. Certainly upfront when guys are bowling, (I try and) play good cricket shots and try and get the runs. And there is an element of risk you have to take in the Powerplay and sometimes outside the Powerplay as well. Sometimes you get away with those. Sometimes it goes your way and you manage to cash it. I try to do that, play positively upfront and in this game I did it well.
There were some cheeky shots behind the wicket. Do you practice for those as well?
(Smiles) Youíve got to practice (those innovative shots) for that quite a while, because in certain situations you may need to play it and it worked out well today. On another day you just miss it. But today it worked out well (and I) managed to get a few runs here and there. We had to keep the scoreboard ticking. We knew they that they are a very good bowling unit and that is why Sunrisers are at the top of the lot because they have been a very good all-round team.
We see a lot of footwork and adjustments which help you score with ease. Tell us about that.
It is about practice. Youíve got to practice various things. The objective is to try and score as many runs as you can of each ball. So I just try and do that, even if it means moving around the crease. T20 is a kind of game where a lot of guys are doing it.
How has your IPL debut season been?
Itís been wonderful coming half way through the season. Itís an enjoyable bunch of guys (in KXIP). Unfortunately we havenít done as well as we would have liked, but in saying that (the tour) it has been excellent. There has been quite a few last over finishes, last ball finishes but that is part of the T20 game. Perhaps some other time it will go our way but the guys have played the best cricket they have tried to. The mood has been good; hopefully we can translate it to some victories.
Disappointed at missing those four runs?
Definitely! I would have loved to get those four runs. If we would have got four runs more, I might have (not only) got a hundred but (we would have had) four runs more to defend, which is the most important thing. But I am glad to get some runs and (happy that I) tried to fulfil my role in the team as best as I can. So certainly no regrets.