Sakib al Hasan returned to Eden Gardens pay back for what has been dubbed by many of his fans as ‘disrespect’ as his all-round performance played a big part in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s five-wicket win over his former franchise Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.
Sakib played for KKR seven seasons, helping them win two IPL titles, yet the franchise made him surplus to requirement this season.
He was fielded in just one game last year and had been released by the franchise before the auction this season. They had the chance to buy him back during the auction, but Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise chose to do otherwise.
While KKR did this with many other players, including their former captain Gautam Gambhir, they at least thanked them for their service in social media, unlike Sakib.
Sakib chose their game to bring his all-round best, taking two crucial wickets for giving away just 21 runs for two overs before making 27 off 21 balls. He also took two catches, each demonstrating his strong determination to win the game.
He dived to his left to take the catch of Chris Lynn inches above the ground at a time when the West Indies batsman was going great having already scored 49 off 33 balls. He then removed Sunil Narine, who scored quick-fire fifty only a few days ago.
His two wickets coupled with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s some genuine
swing bowling helped Sunrisers restrict KKR to 138 runs, though victory
seemed to be slipping through their hands until Sakib made his contributions with the bat.
He shared 59 runs with his skipper Kane Williamson after Sunrisers lost three key wickets for 55.
Sakib came to the pitch at a time when KKR’s three spinners Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla seemed to be unplayable but the Bangladesh all-rounder stayed calm to negotiate them before swung the match back to Sunrisers’ way with some powerful hitting against Andre Russell.
Sakib was unable to finish the game but his performance at least helped Sunrisers end their Eden Gardens jinx in five attempts.
Surprisingly still, Sakib did not win any award in the game as adjudicators inexplicably chose Billy Stanlake as a man of the match ahead of him.
Despite the snub, it was a perfect game for Sakib, who could not have expected a better way to celebrate the Bengali New Year.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Cricket