England’s Harry Brook rebounded from three failures with the bat in resounding fashion with the first century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season as he guided the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a 23-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday.
Bangladesh’s Liton Das, who finally joined KKR on 9 April after completing his international commitments, warmed the bench in the match.
Brook, 24, is one of England’s most exciting talents and an all-format player who came with a whopping $1.62 million price tag in the player auction.
But he had scored just 29 runs in three IPL innings prior to Friday’s game against Kolkata where he finally found his groove and cut loose at the Eden Gardens, reaching an unbeaten 100 in just 55 balls.
The opening batter targeted the fast bowlers and he smashed three sixes and 12 boundaries en route to his century, switching roles from attacking in the powerplay to anchoring the innings when skipper Aiden Markram came in and smashed 50 off 26 balls.
Such was Brook’s contribution that even the home crowd of around 60,000 were on their feet to give him a standing ovation when he got to his hundred with a single in the final over as he helped his team to a season-high total of 228-4.
“I’ve had a bit of trouble with spin, but I wanted to use the powerplay to my advantage. So (in the) middle overs I wanted to rotate strike and let the other boys do the hitting. It is a belter of a pitch,” Brook said.
“I think I was putting pressure on myself after the first few games (because of the price tag). People on social media start to call you ‘rubbish’,” he added after he was named Man of the Match.
“They were slagging me off a few days ago. Glad I could shut them up, to be honest.”
In response, Kolkata were restricted to 205-7 despite captain Nitish Rana’s knock of 75 while Rinku Singh was unbeaten on 58 off 31.
Rinku recorded his maiden IPL fifty but could not repeat his heroics when he smashed five consecutive sixes in the final over to lead Kolkata to victory over the Gujarat Titans earlier this week.