Nehal Wadhera, who brought up his maiden IPL fifty to take Mumbai Indians (MI) to a respectable total after a wobbly start against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in an IPL 2023 match, has said that the next time he goes head-to-head with Matheesha Pathirana, he would have better plans to score runs against the Sri Lankan pacer.
Pathirana was on fire in his spell, giving away just 15 runs in his four overs, not conceding a single boundary while picking three wickets and denied Mumbai the finishing kick they needed after losing their top three batters in power-play. (Watch: Virat Kohli Left In Disbelief As Rashid Khan Takes Stunning Catch In LSG vs GT Clash)
After a dismal start, Wadhera along with Suryakumar Yadav steadied the Mumbai innings, stitching a 55-run partnership. The former, however, fell in the 11th over, leaving the mantle fair and square on Wadhera.
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The 22-year-old then established a 50-run stand with Tristan Stubbs to take the total to 139/8, which CSK chased down comfortably in 17.4 overs to climb to the second place in the points table.
To new learnings and splendid innings’
Pathirana dismissed Wadhera for 64 in the 18th over with a fiery 145kph yorker which kept low to go past the attempted flick and hit the base of the middle stump with great accuracy.
On facing that slinging action from Pathirana, Wadhera said that it was the first time he was facing him and he would have a better plan the next time the two go head-to-head.
“This was the first time I was facing him. He is not the type of bowler we face every day. But next time, whenever he comes, I would have better plans for him so that I can score more runs against him,” Wadhera said in the post-match press conference.
“It was my first game here in Chennai and also my first fifty in the IPL. I love batting under pressure. It was fun batting in Chennai but it was not an easy wicket to bat on,” he added.
Speaking about the game, the young batter said MI were 15-20 runs short as they lost wickets early.
“We lost three early wickets early but it happens in cricket. Overall, we batted well today but I think we were about 15-20 runs short. I think if we had those runs the game might have been very different,” the left-handed batter said.
“Today, it was difficult to hit the pacers because the ball was not coming onto the bat properly. Even with the new ball, Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande used slower ones well,” he added.