Srinagar, May 8: Abdul Samad, the top all-rounder for J&K, did it for his team Sunrisers Hyderabad against Rajasthan Royals on the final ball of the game on Sunday after missing a few opportunities to decide the outcome of the game.
In the last over, Sunrisers Hyderabad needed 17 runs to win. Abdul Samad delivered the winning run for his team on the last ball. Samad succeeded in winning the game for Hyderabad by hitting the final ball for a six, despite the drama that ensued.
Rajasthan's impact player Obed McCoy put down a sitter on the first ball as Samad ran two. The batter then hit Sandeep Sharma for a maximum. Samad then completed another double but Sandeep brought things under control as the over proceeded. With five required on the final delivery, Samad failed to get the desired connection and handed a simple catch to the long-off fielder but it was signalled no-ball, thus reducing the task to four off one ball. Samad then sealed the match with another maximum thus keeping hopes of Sunrisers alive in the tournament.
After the match, Samad was quick to admit that he was lucky.
"I was just waiting for the ball to get in the slot eventually and luckily I got a no-ball as well. I got lucky today," Samad said.
"When I crossed the crease the umpire signalled no-ball, so I told Marco [Jansen] to come back. Umpire told us only one run will be given. I was waiting for the ball to hit in the right area. That's it, it went there, I went for it and it worked out," Samad revealed.
Before his own last-over heroics, it was a hurricane knock played by Glenn Phillips that brought the Hyderabad side back in the game. Player of the match Glenn Phillips scored 25 runs in mere 7 balls. Samad was all praise for the Kiwi cricketer.
"When I went in to bat, it wasn't an easy situation. Phillips gave us the injection. Phillips is the game-changer for us. We are still in the game (tournament). Look forward to carrying this momentum in the remaining matches as well," Abdul Samad said.
Sunrisers captain Markram also praised Samad for the finish.
"Means a lot to the guys, someone like Samad who works hard and only really bats when he is expected to sort of get 15 from an over. It's never easy," Markram said.
Sunrisers Hyderabad by showing faith in emerging talents had retained both Samad and Umran Malik for Rs 4 crore each ahead of the IPL 2021 mega auction.
Both Umran and Samad were uncapped then, however, Umran has since gone on to represent the Indian team in the white ball format following his success with SRH in the IPL.
Following the win, Sunrisers batting coach Hemang Badani has revealed about Abdul Samad's mindset and how relieved he will be with this win.
"I have to give full marks to Samad. He was the first one to come up to me after the last game (vs KKR) and said 'I should have finished the game'. He took ownership of it. He didn't finish well and was unhappy about it. He was thinking that 'I am a retained player and I want to show the team that I am worth its time and investment," Badani said.
“A few sides have tried doing certain things against him and we have worked on that. One of them did come off this evening,” Badani has revealed.
Talking about celebrations, Samad said that he will run into his room as Umran and others are ‘crazy’ when it comes to celebrating, to which the pacer sarcastically said that he will just apply a cake on his face.
Meanwhile former India player and J&K mentor Irfan Pathan has hailed Samad for living up to his expectations.
"If you are going to play the finisher’s role at the age of 21 you will be bound to make mistakes. But if you have guts you will come back and correct your mistake. Well done buddy Abdul Samad," Irfan Pathan Tweeted.