Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed lauded keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik for his match-winning knock the other day against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the ongoing IPL 2022. The partnership between Shahbaz and Karthik helped RCB beat RR by 4 wickets at the Wankhede to register their second win.
Chasing 170 to win the match, RR bowlers had the upper hand as RCB were reduced to 87/5 in their chase. Yuzvendra Chahal and Trent Boult took two wickets each, but then Shahbaz (45) and Karthik (44*) added 67 runs for the sixth wicket and took the team to the win with 5 balls to spare and 4 wickets in hand.
Shahbaz hit 4 fours and 3 sixes in his knock, while Karthik smashed 7 fours and 1 six in his innings. Speaking of the match-winning camaraderie, Shahbaz credited Karthik for shifting the momentum to RCB’s way.
“This is my third season, and it’s been a while since I’m playing. Today, the situation was tough since the momentum was with RR. DK turned the momentum around in our favor, and I found it easy to play with him. It depends on the situation at the time. A lot of teams have left-handed batsmen, and the captain prefers to bowl leg-spinners against them. I hope I get to bowl in the upcoming matches. In terms of batting, I will play where my position is in the pecking order, so I’m preparing for the future,” Shahbaz told reporters at the post-match virtual presser.
Shahbaz said that his role depends on the situation of the match, giving credit to Dinesh Karthik for his good performance against Rajasthan Royals.
He said: “My role in the team depends on the situation of the match. Like today, we were two three wickets down, and I found it easy to play with DK, I didn’t have to think too much, just play with him. He turned the momentum around in our favour. He’s very experienced and made me understand how to play in the centre, and which bowler to play. That’s why we performed well in the game.”
Ahmed was also all praises for pacer Harshal Patel who picked the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal, giving away 18 runs in his 4 overs.
Shahbaz said: “Jos Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer batted really well, and Harshal Patel is effective against left-handed batsmen. We wanted to dismiss him so that we could save runs in the last two overs, but it didn’t happen. The way he (Harshal Patel) bowls. it’s very difficult to score against him, no matter what the conditions of the pitch. His control on the slower ball is best in the world.”
(News18 and India Today inputs)