There is absolutely no denying the fact that Manan Vohra is a highly-rated batsman in the Indian cricket ever since he played a pivotal part in Kings XI Punjab’s run to the final in the 2014 season of the Indian Premier League. But in the following two seasons, he did not get to play as many matches as he would have wanted and the reason for the same was his inconsistency.
The story remained same in the ongoing season too before his brilliant 95-run knock in a losing cause against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday night. The right-handed opening batsman’s scores in the first four matches read- 14, 34, 28 and 3 and he finally proved his immense potential with a gem of an innings against the defending champions.
Chasing 159, Kings XI Punjab were reeling at 62 for 5 after 10 overs but Vohra held firm from one end and played a brilliant knock to keep his team in the hunt until he was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the penultimate over. Vohra’s 95-run came off just 50 balls and was studded with 9 fours and 5 maximums but despite his heroics, the Punjab-based outfit fell short by 5 runs and suffered their loss on the trot.
As expected, Vohra was disappointed after failing to take his team over the line. Speaking at the post-match conference, he said:
“I had a great opportunity to win the game for my team, but I couldn’t do that, I am pretty sad about this.”.
“‘This is my fifth season in the IPL and I have never converted many of my starts. But I knew that if I play around 14-15 overs, I would definitely get a big score. I was conscious of the fact that I have been dismissed a lot of times in the twenties and the thirties, so I concentrated harder during that period,” he added.
He further lauded his team’s bowling effort to restrict the defending champions to 159 on their home ground.
“We did a great job with the ball to restrict them to 159 although we gave away a few runs in the end overs. The wicket was good to bat on, it was slightly slower at one end, but we felt that we could chase the target down,” Vohra said.
Vohra also had a word of praise for David Warner’s unbeaten 70-run knock.
“He (Warner) is a legend of this game. He just changed gears and batted throughout, but the final score wasn’t too difficult,” Vohra added.
Kings XI Punjab were losing wickets at regular intervals but Vohra kept the chase on from one end and brought down the equation just 16 runs from the final two overs.
But the match turned in the home team’s favour when David Warner handed over the ball to Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the penultimate over. The India pacer two took wickets including the prized scalp of Vohra as his team went on to win the match.
The youngster also revealed the message from the dressing room as to how to approach the chase in the final two overs.
“The dressing room message was simple, play out this over (19th) and take your chances in the next (20th over). I wanted to do the same, I played for a single and ended up missing a straight ball,” he said.
“To be honest I thought I will go and play my natural game, give a good start and put the team in a comfortable position. But with Hashim (Amla) getting out the first ball and then Maxwell falling cheaply, I had to change my game plan and play the singles, take the game deeper,” he said on his batting approach during the knock.
Kings XI Punjab have now lost their last three games and while admitting that these are still early days in the tournament, Vohra said his team would look to bounce back when they host Mumbai Indians in their next game at their adopted venue, Indore.
“It is still early stages of the tournament, but we would look to bounce back into winning ways when we go back to Indore for the next match,” he concluded.