Harry Brook struck the first century of the IPL 2023 as Sunrisers Hyderabad held their nerves to ward off a spirited challenge from Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on a sultry April 14 evening.
Chasing an extremely challenging 229 for victory, KKR were restricted to 205-7 in their 20 overs, handing SRH a 23-run win.
Brook, the 24-year-old Englishman, who has taken the cricket world by storm thanks to his consistency since his debut last year, stayed unbeaten on 100 off 55 balls. His innings was laced with 12 boundaries and three sixes.KKR skipper Nitish Rana led from the front scoring 75 off 41 balls.
Rana, whose innings included five fours and six sixes, in fact, struck fast bowler Umran Malik for 28 runs in one over. Rinku Singh, the star of KKR’s previous win over Gujarat Titans, found himself in a near similar position as his team required 32 runs off the last over. But, he could not repeat the heroics, staying unbeaten on 58 off 31 balls.
In a post-match interview to JioCinema, Brook said: “The crowd today was phenomenal. My experience in the IPL so far has been one to remember. I was doubting myself in the last few games but to go out there with a little bit of mentality that I don’t care was really nice to have come off.”
Brook credited England coach Brendon McCullum for his aggressive approach towards batting. He also loves playing golf and revealed he has found a new partner in Brian Lara who joins him on the course.
Former England captain Eoin Morgan on JioCinema showered rich praise on Brook, saying: “It was simply sublime from Harry Brook. We’ve seen this now for a couple of years at home both in England and for Yorkshire and even in The Hundred. He just continues to get better and better and better. And it’s across all three formats. For everybody seeing him for the first time tonight, he does this every time in Test matches. He is as aggressive in a T20 game as he is in Test matches and it is great to watch.”
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan on JioCinema said: “Brook played shots all around the park. He was hitting in front of the wicket, behind the wicket, on the offside and on the on-side. That made things difficult for bowlers. It will be interesting to see how he bats against other teams. They will try to use more spinners against him. But he showed what he can do on his good days.”
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that SRH skipper Aiden Markram’s half-century also played a key role in helping Brook score his ton. “He would not have scored 100 if Aiden Markram had not taken on the spinners. He finished spinner Suyash Sharma during his knock. Brook barely played five or six balls. Even in that a caught & bowled chance was missed. I also think KKR missed a trick. When you have so many spinners, use them from the first over.”