On the day of Bengali New Year, Sunrisers Hyderabad visited us for our 4th match of this season. The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first. Kuldeep Yadav returned to the squad, replacing Piyush Chawla.
Brisk start despite losing openers
Sunil Narine accompanied Gautam Gambhir for the second time in 4 matches but the experiment didn’t work this time as after watchful two overs, Narine was removed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Gambhir looked comfortable at the crease but Rashid Khan removed him for 15, a rare failure for the skipper. Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey then steadied the ship with a sensible partnership. The pair took their time at the start and at the end of 10 overs, our scoreboard read 75/2 with Uthappa doing bulk of the big-hitting.
Uthappa and Manish capitalize
Uthappa completed his first fifty of this IPL and was looking in good form. The run-rate kept on increasing with these two batsmen on the crease. Uthappa lost his wicket to Cutting after making 68 runs off just 39 balls. Manish Pandey then took the mantle of scoring quick runs as he freed his arms to hit those big sixes. He was looking good for another fifty but mistimed a shot and was caught by a running David Warner. The last three overs were not that fruitful with just 22 runs coming in them. We ended up on 172/6 which looks like a challenging total on this pitch.
Spinners control the proceedings
The Sunrisers opening pair of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan took their time on this wicket but accelerated things. While our pacers were not able to get a breakthrough, it was our spinners who did the job. Yusuf Pathan was introduced by Gambhir in the 7th over and the gamble paid off as Dhawan chipped one straight to long-off. Kuldeep and Narine then kept the batsmen guessing as the run rate kept on increasing at a rapid rate. Warner went cheaply with Kuldeep getting the priced wicket. At the end of 10 overs, SRH were 59/2 and needed 114 runs in the last 10.
Bowlers do the job to complete a comprehensive win
Things were not over as SRH had a deep line-up with the likes of Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh and Deepak Hooda still there. But the bowlers bowled brilliantly and did not give freebies to the batsmen. As the run-rate kept on increasing, Narine removes Hooda for 13. Yuvraj succumbed to the pressure after a free-flowing 26 to Woakes. Things seemed difficult after these two departed as the bowlers didn’t allow for the batsmen to hit and eventually Sunrisers falling short of the total. They scored 155 in their 20 overs and we won the game by 17 runs. Although Woakes picked up 2 wickets, it was the spinning trio of Narine, Kuldeep and (one over from) Pathan who did the damage. All-in-all, this was a complete victory which helped us climb to the number one spot in the table.