I wanted to finish the game: Yuvraj Singh


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With an unbeaten 42 off 24 balls against Kings XI Punjab, Yuvraj Singh took the Sunrisers Hyderabad to their eighth win of the season. With 39 runs required off the last 18 balls, the left-hander powered Mohit Sharma over deep-midwicket for a six as he and Ben Cutting plucked 19 runs off the over. Then, an over later with 9 required off the last six balls, he slammed the pacer for a six to take his team within two runs off a win.

Speaking about his knock that helped the team consolidate their position in the VIVO IPL 2016 points table, Yuvraj said, “(I feel) Very good! I wanted to finish the game. It has been a while since I finished the game. I had a good knock against Mumbai Indians where I could play in the end, so that’s what I try and do.”

Speaking about the win that has firmed up SRH’s position in the race to the playoffs, Yuvraj said, “We needed that win. I think Kings XI Punjab batted really well and 180 was a tough target. It is a huge target in T20 cricket. If we would have lost early wickets, we would have been in trouble. But the key was to have wickets (in hand) till the end and try and get the runs.”

Coming in to bat at 97 for two, Yuvraj kept the chase on course with a 42-run partnership with young Deepak Hooda until the latter departed. He watchfully compiled and paced his knock to hold the innings together after the openers had got the team off to a solid start and took them to the finish line in a 41-run unbroken stand with Cutting. “As the ball gets older, it is hard to hit. You need to spend some time at the wicket. I know the Mohali wicket, I have been brought up playing here, so I know you’ve got to spend some time and get set, and then start hitting. I think everybody contributed towards the win - Hooda, David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan. We had good partnerships and that is the reason we could get to the end. Ben Cutting hit the ball when it was much needed (six off Mohit Sharma and Sandeep Sharma in the 18th and 19th over respectively) and that took the pressure off me.

“We had wickets in hand which really helped us cross the line,” Yuvraj mentioned while reflecting on the chase. Yuvraj and Cutting upped the ante by scoring off Mohit, who has been KXIP’s go-to man in the death overs. Discussing the 18th over, which put SRH firmly in the driver’s seat, Yuvraj said, “I think in these situations the bowler is much under more pressure (than the batting side). Mohit (Sharma) has been a terrific bowler for Kings XI Punjab and won them many games in the death. So I thought rather than making a mistake, I wanted to hit the ball which was in my arc. If he bowled good yorkers or good areas, then you have to give (respect) to the bowler.”

With the league phase at its business end, the contribution of the middle-order bodes well for the team after the top-order had done bulk of the job early on in the tournament. “Yes, definitely! (it is good for the team),” agreed Yuvraj while adding, “I think it is important for everybody to get that chance, to get those runs. The more games you play the better you get as you enter the last four.”

Speaking about the team’s performance he said, “Everybody has contributed really well. Unfortunately Ashish Nehra had an injury today. Hopefully, we can do well in the last two games and eventually get into the last four. I hope we are there.”