Shimron Hetmyer says “being a finisher is‘ both a blessing and a curse” – explains why

The Punjab Kings – Rajasthan Royals rivalry continues to maintain its enthralling nature. Seven of their last eight matches have been decided in the last over. However, this time, it was a low-scoring match, unlike the high-scoring encounters between these two underwhelming sides.

Shimron Hetmyer said his role as a finisher in Rajasthan Royals was ‘a blessing and a curse’ after leading his side to a win against PBKS.

Shimron Hetmyer was named Player of the Match after batting just 10 balls in a 148-run chase. That tells you two things – A) He must have done something outrageous in those 10 balls in a chase where the required rate was less than 7.5 runs an over. B) The Rajasthan Royals batters may have got their calculations horribly wrong to require a desperate cameo at the backend of the match. Both are correct.

Hetmyer saved the blushes for Rajasthan Royals with a last-ball six off Punjab Kings pacer Arshdeep Singh to seal a three-wicket victory in Mullanpur. They didn’t require a six. Two runs were needed off as many balls but it felt like a boundary was necessary for the Royals to win. And Hetmyer delivered.

Hetmyer came in at No.6 when the Royals had just lost set batter Riyan Parag for 23 off 18. They still needed 35 off 20 balls. Dhruv Jurel was struggling to hit boundaries at the other end. His nightmarish 11-ball 6-run knock came to an end in the next over. Now it was up to Hetmyer to do something special.

The left-hander hit a four and a six in the same over to bring RR right back in the chase. In the next over, Rovman Powell played his part by hitting back-to-back boundaries off PBKS stand-in captain Sam Curran but was dismissed trying to hit another off the third. Curran got another wicket to end the over.

RR now needed 10 off the last over of Arshdeep. The PBKS death overs specialist started off two excellent deliveries that resulted in dot balls. Pressure was mounting on Hetmyer. He needed a big hit.

Arshdeep missed the yorker by a whisker and Hetmyer latched on to it. He hit a flat six straight over the bowler’s head. The next ball resulted in a couple of runs. Needing two runs off two balls, Hetmyer got a full toss from Arshdeep and he flicked it over the long leg boundary for his third six to bring a sigh of relief in the RR camp.

He remained unbeaten on 27 off 10 balls.

“It is just practice really, I try as much as possible to bat properly in the nets first. Then I go back after everyone has finished to try and hit sixes,” Hetmyer said when he asked about the secret behind his finishing skills.

Over the years, Hetmyer has developed a reputation as a finisher, which the hard-hitting batter from West Indies said was a blessing and a curse.

“It is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Happy I could help my team win tonight,” he said. (On if thoughts of failure ever come in) They creep in, but afterwards, I just try to keep it as clear as possible. After the first few balls, he (Boult) came up to me and calmed me down.”

With Trent Boult at the other end, Hetmyer said, he would not have hesitated in taking a single off the penultimate ball which would have ensured at least a super over.

“I would have taken it (the single in the final over). I spoke to Boulty and even if I don’t get the other one, I will try my best to get the single and at least tie it. I was just trying to get a single or a double and then I got the full toss, and tried to hit it for six.” he added.

With this win, RR became the first team in IPL 2024 to enter double digits in the points table.

Leave a Comment