Manish Pandey Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL 2019
Manish Pandey (AFP Photo)

Manish Pandey left behind a string of scratchy performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing Indian Premier League to hit his first half-century of the season against Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday.

The middle-order batsman, promoted to No.3, struck an unbeaten 83 in the final total of 175/3. Before that, he mad managed 54 runs in his previous five innings.

However, courtesy Shane Watson’s 53-ball 96, CSK chased down the target with a delivery to spare at Chepauk.

SRH mentor VVS Laxman is happy to see Pandey returning to form saying it’s bodes well for them considering the fact they will be without a majority of their overseas stars owing to national commitments.

“We had reason to be happy with our performance in the first half,” Laxman wrote in his column for The Times of India. “David Warner made a hard-working half-century while it was refreshing and encouraging to see Manish Pandey back himself and produce a superb innings in the absence of Kane Williamson, who had sadly to rush back to New Zealand following the demise of his grandmother.”

He added, “I think Manish striking form at the right moment augurs well, because this is the time we will start losing some of our internationals to World Cup camps. This is a glorious opportunity for our experienced Indian players to make their presence felt.”

Tuesday’s defeat was SRH’s fifth of the season and the second time they had lost a close encounter with a delivery remaining. The first time it was against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali when they were defending 150.

Laxman said the failure to break partnerships is the reason for their defeats in close finishes. “One of the reasons for this is that we haven’t been able to break threatening partnerships at the opportune time. If it was KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal who thwarted us in Mohali, then it was the turn of Shane Watson and Suresh Raina to do likewise in Chennai,” he wrote.