Bhanuka calls Wankhede wicket ‘not the greatest to bat on during the start’

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Punjab Kings (PBKS) batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa said on Monday that the wicket at the Wankhede Stadium during their game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was not the greatest wicket to bat on during the start of the innings.

A 110-run stand between a returning Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42) and Shikhar Dhawan (88*), playing his 200th IPL game, along with a stroke-filled cameo from Liam Livingstone (19) at the end, powered PBKS to 187/4 in their 20 overs.

Chasing 188, knocks from Ruturaj Gaikwad (30), Ambati Rayadu (78) and captain Ravindra Jadeja (21*) kept the team in contention despite the constant fall of wickets from the other end, but the Men in Yellow fell 11 short of what could have been their third victory this season.

“It was not the greatest wicket to bat on when we started. We had a shorter side, so we knew what we had to do. We had a plan. All credit to Shikhar for the way he batted, paced his innings and talked to me. We had a plan – to get a boundary ball and rotate the strike. Everything happened as per the plan. The Punjab way is the attacking way, we plan to come hard at bowlers. However, we had to change our ways today,” said Rajapaksa during a post-match press conference.

The batter said that during his knock of 42 off 32 deliveries, he waited for the ball as it was not coming nicely on the bat.

“The more I waited, the more I could place the ball through gaps, the more I played with the middle of the bat,” he added.

The Lankan wicketkeeper batter said that great performances from the Sri Lankans at home had opened the eyes of IPL franchises to them.

“It is a great opportunity for us all to come here and play with the best. The exposure we get here is immense,” he added.

With this win, Punjab Kings are at the sixth spot in the points table with eight points while Super Kings lay at the ninth spot with just four points. PBKS will take on Lucknow Super Giants on 29 April while CSK will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on 1 May.

(Agencies)