Was determined to make the opportunity count: Gurkeerat

Having not played in the IPL last year, RCB batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann was determined to score a match-winning knock for his team and is glad that he could do so against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Mann, playing only his third game of the season, smashed 65 off 48 balls while batting alongside Shimron Hetmyer to fire RCB to a four-wicket win over Sunrisers in there last game of the season Saturday.

“I think it is not pressure, it is about the opportunity. This year I played in the IPL after almost two years and I just wanted to deliver for my team and I did it,” Mann told reporters.

He also said he was fortunate to get an opportunity to build an innings as he came out to bat in third over when RCB were reeling at 20 for three, chasing 176. “Whenever you go into bat, you have to prove yourself and do well for the team. Fortunately for me, I had many overs left, so I could build my innings. Usually what happens to the middle over batsmen is you don’t get balls and you just have to hit out in the last three or four overs.’

Asked how he and Hetmyer approached the chase after a poor start, Mann said his job was to anchor the innings and let the West Indian go after the bowlers.

Meanwhile, Sunrisers opener Martin Guptill said Kane Williamson, whose unbeaten 70 saw Hyderabad post a challenging 175 for seven, played very well. “Last over he got rewards for his hard-fought innings,” said Guptill. Williamson hammered 20 runs off 28 balls scored in the last over by walloping two sixes and as many boundaries off Umesh Yadav. Guptill praised the partnership between Hetmyer and Mann, saying it took the game away from Sunrisers.

On lead spinner Rashid Khan’s performance this year, Guptill said, “It is cricket, these things happens from time to time. However, he has bowled well for us, though he did not get as many wickets as he wanted to.” Rashid Khan took 15 wickets in 14 games, averaging 24.13 with an economy rate of 6.46.