The close win we pulled off against the Mumbai Indians was immensely satisfying for two reasons. Firstly, since this was the opening game of the new IPL season for both us and Mumbai, two of the competition’s bigger sides, both were obviously keen on starting off with a win. And we are thrilled to have edged it right at the end.

Secondly, we had never beaten Mumbai at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the IPL till that point, so it certainly was sweet to have broken that jinx.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the start we were looking for as we lost the toss and batted first on a tricky wicket. We then lost Dilshan early, as well as a couple of other wickets at regular intervals.

Being one of the team’s key batsmen, I knew I had to stay till the end to help the team post a challenging score.

Since it wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on, I had to be patient early on and look to accelerate once I got stuck in.

I’m glad that approach paid off in the end as we managed to get a match-winning score of 156 when, at one stage, it looked like we would have had to settle for 140-145.

Today, we face the IPL’s newest team, the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Like us, they too enter this game on a winning note having brilliantly defended a modest score of 126 against Pune Warriors India. So I’m positive it won’t be a walkover for either team.

They’ve got some key players, particularly in the bowling, with Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma and a very astute leader in Kumar Sangakkara as he showed in the game against Pune. But the lads are extremely keen on making it two out of two, and we’ve just got to focus on our game plan.

Facing Steyn will be a great challenge and one that I am looking forward to as he is the best fast bowler in the world today. But it will again be important to assess the wicket and take it from there.

I strongly feel that we’ve got a well balanced team that can mount a serious challenge for the title this year.  There is variation in the bowling, depth in the batting with AB de Villiers still to join us and some new faces too. 

Professional Management Group

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