Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) fast bowler Harshal Patel was in seventh heaven after his team trumped the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator and booked the place in the Qualifier 2 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
RCB’s uncapped batter Rajat Patidar was the star of the night as he smashed a match-winning knock of unbeaten 112 runs from 54 deliveries, with the help of 12 fours and seven humungous sixes. His efforts guided RCB to post a massive total of 207/4.
In response, Lucknow did manage to reach quite close but fell short of 14 runs as they managed to score 193/6 in 20 overs. Even in such a high-scoring contest, Harshal impressed one and all with his economical bowling display. The right-armer only conceded 25 runs in his quota of 4 overs and picked up the crucial wicket of Marcus Stoinis.
Notably, Harshal did find himself in a spot of bother when he came to bowl the 18th over in a crunch situation when LSG needed 34 runs only. The 31-year-old had a terrible start as he gave away six wides (including five wides off one ball). At that time, Harshal still hadn’t bowled his first legitimate delivery of the over, but he didn’t succumb to the pressure and came back sharply, allowing LSG to only claim two more runs from the over, including the scalp of Stoinis.
After the thrilling game, Harshal opened up about that nerve-wracking over and said that even if bowling at death is challenging, he would love to face such a situation, irrespective of whether he would deliver for his side or not.
“First of all, yes, I was nervous, there is no doubt about that. If you are defending 34 (41) off 18 balls, then you’re going to be nervous around it, but I knew when I gave away six runs without bowling a ball, gave away those wides, I knew that the wide yorker won’t work. So I thought, what worked for me in the first two overs, I want to go back to that and give myself the best opportunity to get KL (Rahul) and Stoinis out. Fortunately, I got Stoinis out at the boundary,” said Harshal during the post-match presser.
“Whether I would be able to deliver or not, I don’t really know, I can’t say. But I want to be in those situations, there is no doubt about that, and I have been wanting to do that for the past 2-3 years, I have been doing that for Haryana, and I wanted to do it at the bigger stage, and I will continue to put myself in those situations, sometimes it is going to come off, sometimes it is not going to come off. There will be games where I will end up losing for the team, and I am okay with that as long as I don’t shy away from challenges,” Harshal explained.