Punjab batters cut a sorry figure after being asked to take first strike as Dhawan slammed an unbeaten 99 off 66 balls to carry the team on his shoulders.
“As a batting unit, we lost too many wickets back to back and couldn’t put up a big total on the ground and because of that we lost the game. 175-180 would have been a reasonable score. The wicket looked quite good but it was seaming and swinging,” Dhawan said at the post-match presentation.
On his sensational innings, Dhawan, who was adjudged the player of the match, said: “I didn’t expect I will reach there at the end of the day but I was playing according to the situation, still keeping positive…
“Of course it was disappointing (seeing wickets keep falling) but the way we thought the wicket was going to play, it was playing differently. It was seaming and sometimes keeping low. But that’s a learning process for my batting unit and that’s fine.
“I’m very very grateful for 99 because I never thought I’d reach there so I’m very happy.”
Chasing 144, SRH romped home in 17.1 overs, riding on a 48-ball 74 not out by Rahul Tripathi.
Winning captain Aiden Markram called it a “special” win.
“It was a bit rough for us at the start but we are happy to win today. I am super happy for Markande. He bowled really well tonight. He is only a couple of balls away from something special and he showed his class tonight.”
Markram scored 37 off 21 as he and Tripathi added 100 off 52 balls to take the team home.
“It’s easy with Rahul (Tripathi) at the other end. Great franchise to be a part of and it’s our first win of the season, it means a lot.”
Spinner Mayank Markande did the star turn for SRH with figures of 4 for 15 to leave Punjab Kings reeling at 88 for nine in the 15th over.
“Very happy to get an opportunity. My role is to take wickets in the middle overs. I bowled slowly and fortunately got the wickets. With the impact rule, you should always be prepared,” Markande said.
“The talks with Adil Rashid has helped me. During the red-ball season, I worked hard with Aavishkar Salvi. I rate this performance very high, happy to contribute.”
(With PTI inputs)