Shahbaz Ahmed IPL 2024.
Shahbaz Ahmed IPL 2024. Image Credit: X

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) qualified in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 thanks to the golden performance of their ‘Impact Player’ Shahbaz Ahmed, who changed the course of the game with the ball in the second innings. The 2016 champions knocked the Rajasthan Royals out of the competition.

Winning the toss at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the Royals put the Sunrisers into batting, who lost Abhishek Sharma in the very first over of the innings, against Trent Boult. Rahul Tripathi played a good knock but they lost wickets at regular intervals to find themselves at 99/4.

They brought all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed as the ‘Impact Player’, but the Bengal player too couldn’t make many contributions with the bat, notching up 18 runs in run-a-ball. However, Heinrich Klassen’s 50-run knock in 34 balls pushed them to 175/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

Pat Cummins revealed the plan of bringing Shahbaz Ahmed as an Impact Player

Rajasthan Royals didn’t make a great start in their batting department, as they could reach to only 23 runs in four overs, besides losing their England opener Tom Kohler Cadmore, who struggled for his 16-ball 10-run knock in the game.

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Yashasvi Jaiswal was batting beautifully as he looked to take on the Hyderabad bowlers, especially the spinners. Shahbaz Ahmed came into the attack during the eighth over and was smashed for a six in the second delivery by Jaiswal.

However, the left-arm spinner smartly sent back the batter, who looked to use his feet but could hit the ball straight in the air and was caught in the hands of Abdul Samad comfortably. Shahbaz gave away only a single and double in his second over, while he changed the direction of the game in his favour on this third over.

On the first delivery of the 12th over, Shahbaz got the wicket of Riyan Parag on six, who nailed the short ball straight into the hands of the deep mid-wicket fielder. Two balls later, the spin bowler bagged the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin, who looking to cut the ball, got a faint edge in the hands of the wicket-keeper.

Shahbaz Ahmed ended with figures of 3/23 in his four overs, as the Rajasthan Royals could reach to only 139/7 in their 20 overs, falling shot by 36-runs.

Coming in the post-match presentation ceremony, Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Pat Cummins opened up on whose decision it was to bring Shahbaz Ahmed as the impact player.

“That was (Daniel) Vettori’s choice, left-arm orthodox and wanted as many left-arm orthodox as possible,” Cummins revealed at the end of the encounter.

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“That was a surprise, tried to stick one out of him with a couple of right-handers and he bowled beautifully and those two won it with their bowling in the middle overs,” Cummins expressed. “We knew our strength was our batting and we wouldn’t underestimate the experience we have in this squad, it’s a dream having Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), Nattu (T Natarajan) and (Jaydev) Unadkat, makes my job easy.”

The Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on May 26, 2024 in the final of the IPL 2024, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, to aim their second IPL title.