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It was tough after two bad games, says Rashid Khan

Mumbai :SRH have climbed up to No. 2 on the IPL 2018 leaderboard with a come-from-behind victory against KXIP at home , and the hero of the low-scoring thriller was Hyderabad’s teenage recruit from Afghanistan – Rashid Khan.

Not particularly high on confidence following a dip in form, the new leg-spin sensation of T20 cricket has been back in the pink over the last two matches and on Thursday he was at his best with figures of 3/19. But Khan felt it’s been tough after two bad games.

“It was a tough challenge for me after two bad games against Chennai and Punjab. The plan was to be positive. The coaching staff’s support was amazing. They just told me to enjoy myself,” Khan said after SRH’s 13-run win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Chasing a paltry 133 to win on a terribly slow wicket, Punjab openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle took the team past the 50-run mark, and at that stage, it was their match to lose.

But Khan removed Rahul for 32 and shortly after Basil Thampi got the better of Gayle (23), which changed the complexion of the match dramatically. Punjab lost their last eight wickets for just 62 runs to concede the contest in a humiliating way.

“I’m ready to bowl anytime my skipper needs – either in the Powerplay, middle or the end. The plan was to bowl wicket to wicket and vary the pace. Defending low totals gives us confidence. The guys did a very good job in the fielding department as well and hopefully, we can keep this up. We need a few more runs, but the wickets we have seen in the last two games were totally different and that score was the best score here,” the Afghan reckoned.

SRH skipper Kane Williamson agreed with his match-winning bowler.

“It’s nice to defend these totals, but we want to be smarter with the bat,” said Williamson. It’s not about getting 180 always, get 145, 155 and we can use our bowling to put them under pressure.

“The bowlers have operated really smartly, and our fielding energy is great. (We have been) Fortunate with our bowling depth. With bowlers going out to injury, the back-up is coming good. The way they’ve managed to fight, a lot of credit to the bowlers, (especially) the lengths they hit to get their wickets,” he added.