Suryakumar Yadav’s prolific IPL 2020 season ended in an ugly run out, but it was a dismissal he deliberately chose to walk into, sacrificing his wicket for his skipper Rohit Sharma.
The night of the final was a perfect setting for Suryakumar to finish the tournament on a high, having already created enough flutters in the last two months with his neatly crafted knocks at No.3. The opportunity presented itself when he walked out in the fifth over, largely playing second fiddle as Rohit set the tone for the chase.
Having ambled to 19 off as many deliveries, Suryakumar found himself in the middle of a horrible mix-up: Rohit, having punched one through the covers, made the rookie mistake of following the ball and rushing out of his crease, paying no heed to his non-striker. Suryakumar, having seen the ball race to Praveen Dubey at cover, vehemently refused the run, but Rohit had sprinted to the other side (the dodgy hammy seemingly fine).
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Suryakumar could have turned his head away, and let Rohit face his karma, but decided to sacrifice himself instead, meekly trudging out of his crease to cross Rohit Sharma. By then, the ball had been thrown into wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant’s gloves. The bails were off, and Suryakumar had to go – Rohit crouched in dispair, head low, realising what he had done.
“The captain has to blame himself I am afraid,” said commentator Simon Doull on air. “Credit to Suryakumar Yadav here, he could have stayed in his crease, he could have put his bat down, he called ‘no’ straight away and he has ended just walling out of his crease and saving his skipper’s wicket. This is really selfless from Suryakumar.”
It wasn’t exactly a critical dismissal in the context of the game, but there was still work to be done. “Rohit needs to go down and win this for his team and for this man [Suryakumar],” Doull said, as Mumbai’s No.3 walked away, leaving his skipper to complete the chase. With 66 needed off the last nine, it was in the category of comfortable, but even small targets can get tricky, sometimes even one wicket sparks a turnaround. Rohit, with the experience of 200 IPL caps on him, dug in and clinically took them right up to the finish, scoring 68 off 51, and taking away most of the plaudits. However, it was Suryakumar, with a quiet, self-sacrificing act, proved that he’s much more than a one-man run-machine, but a heck of a team man.
“He was batting really well,” Suryakumar said after the game. “Most importantly, he’s been anchoring well since the first game.”
“I don’t mind sacrificing my wicket for him.”
You can watch the dismissal here.