Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith was all praise for man-of-the-match Washington Sundar after his team sailed into the finals of the tenth edition of Indian Premier League with a 20-run win over Mumbai Indians.
Calling the 17-year-old’s match-winning effort “ati-sundar” (very beautiful) performance, Smith said that he was very proud of the youngster. “Washington’s lengths were magnificent and it was great he did it on a big stage like this. He has done a lot for us, very proud of him,” Smith said after the match.
“What an unbelievable performance by a young seventeen-year old on the big stage. I throw him the ball in the first six overs when the batsmen are going after him and he takes three,” the Australian said while interviewing his team mate for iplt20.com.
Sundar claimed the big wickets of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard in a relatively modest chase of 163. Only 17, the off-spinner rose to the occasion after Smith gave him the new ball.
“It feels really good, especially to have taken key members of their side on such a big occasion in front of a packed crowd,” Sundar told iplt20.com after the match. He then thanked his captain for the confidence showed in him.
“I think Smith has been really supportive and I would like to thank him for it. Him giving me an opportunity to play ten games in my first edition for an off-spinner, I don’t think any other team would have been willing to do that. I would like to thank him a lot,” he said.
Talking about his spell, Sundar said that he relished the challenge. “I love the challenge of bowling in the Powerplay having only two fielders outside the circle. I have been believing in my strengths and hopefully I will be doing the same thing in Hyderabad and we will be able to lift the trophy together,” a confident Sundar said.
“Keeping it simple works for me. Right now I’m not really open to being experimental. I just go out there and I back myself to play to my strengths,” he had said right after the match.
The 17-year-old dedicated his man-of-the-match award to his parents. “This is for my parents, their prayers are the reason I did this,” he said at the post-match ceremony.