Bought by SRH for a whopping Rs 13.25 crore, Brook found his rhythm with a 55-ball-100 as he smashed 12 fours and three sixes
Brook, who was roped in after his exploits in Pakistan, finally announced his arrival in style, when he smashed four fours and two sixes inside first three overs to give SRH the best start of the season.
Bought by SRH for a whopping Rs 13.25 crore, Brook had managed only 29 in first three games but found his rhythm with a 55-ball-100 as he smashed 12 fours and three sixes. This was 16th edition’s first century.
In reply, it was always going to be difficult for KKR to maintain a run-rate of 11 plus per over but skipper Rana (75 off 41 balls) did launch into SRH bowlers with half a dozen sixes and had ‘Man of the Moment’ Rinku Singh (58 not out off 31 balls) for company in their 69-run stand off only 6.2 overs. This was after KKR were reduced to 96 fo 5 within first 10 overs.
Once T Natarajan got rid of Rana, it was left to Rinku to pull off yet another heist as 57 were needed off last three overs.
But Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29 in 4 overs) gave 10 in the 18th over while Natarajan (1/54 in 4 overs) went for 16 in the penultimate over.
With Rinku on strike and 32 needed off last over, Umran Malik (1/36 in 2 overs) came back well to dismiss Shardul Thakur with the first delivery and effectively sealing the game as the southpaw was stranded at the other end for first two deliveries. Rinku face four balls but Umran bowled fast and full to keep him under check with only eight runs being conceded.
Brook ‘Bonds’ with SRH philosophy
Earlier, having got a reprieve on 45, when he was dropped by rookie leg-spinner Suyash Sharma an easy chance off his own bowling, Brook got to his 50 off 32 balls.
Brook also overturned a caught-behind decision off Lockie Ferguson when on 61, as he hammered the Kiwi fiery pacer in the same over five fours, en route to the first century of the season, which came off a single off Umesh Yadav in the final over.
Opted to bowl, KKR fielding was also a big letdown as Skipper Aiden Markram also played an impactful innings in the middle when he raced to a 26-ball fifty as the duo stitched together 72 runs from 47 balls.
After Markram’s departure, young left-handed batter Abhishek Sharma (32; 17b) gave a fine support as the duo also added 72 runs (33b) to pile on KKR’s misery.
Heinrich Klaasen then played a cameo of 16 not out in six balls as SRH dished out a superlative batting display after KKR opted to bowl.
Barring Caribbeans, Sunil Narine (4-0-28-0) and Andre Russell (2.1-0-22-3) who pulled a muscle and could not complete his overs, none of the KKR bowlers failed to impress.
The day fully belonged to the English batter, who carried his bat replicating his success in Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he had scored 264 runs for Lahore Qalandars in eight innings, which included a century, at a strike rate of 171.4 in 2022 edition.
Brook also has eye-popping numbers in Tests and has scored 809 runs with four centuries and three fifties in 10 innings.
KKR may have missed the trick by giving him some easy pace fodder to begin with as Brook was happy to take Yadav to cleaners, while the fiery Ferguson was wayward, both conceding 14 runs in their opening overs.
From 43 for no loss in three overs, Sunil Narine managed to drag them in a tidy fourth over that perfectly set it up for Andre Russell to inflict a double blow.
Bowling for the first time this season, the Jamaican dismissed Mayank Agarwal (9; 13b) straightway before pulling a muscle.
Russell however managed to finish the over and took the wicket of in-form Rahul Tripathi in the last-ball to give KKR the vital opening.
But Brook and skipper Markram batted sensibly, especially against Narine and raced to quick fifties to keep their run-rate near the 10-run mark.
The SRH skipper gave Brook a fine support and negotiated the middle overs well in an entertaining 72-run partnership that came off just 47 balls.