IPL 2020: ‘Knew he will come hard at us,’ Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar reveal their plan to tackle Jofra Archer

Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a much-needed win against Rajasthan Royals in Match 40 of the IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday. Chasing 155, SRH cantered to an eight-wicket win courtesy half-centuries from Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar, who added a record stand – 140* for the third wicket – the highest in the IPL by an Indian pair.

Pandey and Shankar came together at a crucial point in the innings. Jofra Archer had removed the star opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, dismissing both cheaply to reduce SRH to 16 for 2 in the third over. It was important for SRH to not lose another wicket to Archer, who was clocking the 150s and had his tail up, and Pandey and Shankar ensured they batted through.

After the match, Pandey and Shankar revealed their plan to bat against Archer, who finished with impressive figures of 2/21 from four overs but couldn’t prevent RR from slumping to their seventh defeat of the season. Sunrisers’ middle order was a matter of concern, but Pandey, who top scored with an unbeaten 83, an effort that would fetch him the Player of the Match award, dismissed them away with a fine innings.

“There were enough talks around our middle order. High time for us to perform. I just wanted to stay on the wicket and play my shots. Really happy that it came off today. We had the opportunity to win the game for SRH, really happy I’m standing here,” Pandey said after the match.

“We had plans to see Jofra off. We had a plan to take on the leggies and Indian bowlers, and it paid off. The first ball I middled through covers and I tried to keep my shape. I was hitting it well and I tried to get my team over the line. Vijay was also long due and he stepped up batting at 4. We are trying to take positives from this match and we’ll try to keep it up for the rest of the tournament.”

Shankar’s wait for a big score finally ended Thursday as the all-rounder ended his barren run with a half-century, scoring 52 off 51 balls with six boundaries. Besides, Shankar had a fine outing with the ball, claiming 1/15 from three overs. Stressing on the need to see off Archer, Shankar expressed his delight of finally getting a good performance under his felt.

“I have been bowling pretty well, I don’t know when I will get the ball so I just wanted to be ready whenever I’m called. I tried to take pace off, hit the hard length and bowl cross-seamed. We just thought we should take the game deep,” the all-rounder said.

“We knew Jofra will come hard at us. Personally, this was a do-or-die game for me. I batted just 18 balls prior to this. It was a good challenge and I was looking forward to something like this because it will give me a lot of confidence if I do well in that situation. I asked Manish if I should go for the shots because I didn’t want him to feel the pressure because of me and play a rash shot. We were communicating in that partnership, that’s why we were able to take the game deep.”


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