Sunrisers Hyderabad had to take a tough decision to keep almost-fit Kane Williamson out, keeping him safe for later part of the IPL. The bowlers gave yet another great start. Mohammad Nabi once again excelled with his 1 wicket for 13 runs. He removed the hit-man, Rohit Sharma in the 4th over. At the halfway, SRH limited MI at 52 runs with the loss of 3 wickets. Then they got Krunal Pandya and Ishan Kishan in quick succession. In the 17th over, Rashid Khan bagged Hardik Pandya’s wicket, and with that, only threat left from MI side was Kieron Pollard, while MI had scored just 88 runs. Had they not dropped his catch in the 19th over, both the runs to chase and the match result would have been in SRH’s control. Their bowlers conceded 39 runs in the last two overs.
They still had a manageable target of 137, but Bairstow and Warner fell in the 3rd and the 4th overs, both at the total score of 33 runs. It put pressure on the middle order, which was yet to be tested. SRH kept losing wickets every 10-20 runs. None of their batsmen crossed 20 runs, while only three partnerships were in two-digits. Though it was not a flat and easy track to bat, their batsmen failed to apply themselves Crumbling to their lowest IPL score of 96 runs in 17.4 overs, was not something they had expected after winning the toss and opting to chase.
Siddarth Kaul took two wickets but he was expensive to give away 34 runs, 20 of which came to 19th over from Pollard. Kumar, S Sharma, Nabi and Khan each took 1 wicket. Deepak Hooda scored 20 runs while Jonny Bairstow made 16 off 10 balls.
It was a dream replacement any team could get, as Joseph who came in place of Malinga, grabbed 6 wickets. This was quite special when the required run rate to defend was under 7. MI batsmen could not go for plenty of shots during the powerplay and barely managed 30 runs with the loss of two wickets. They failed to build up a good partnership on the slow pitch till late. Pollard started his run machine with his magical touch in the last two overs. At the end of the 18th over, MI were 97 for 7. Pollard hit 3 sixes to Kaul in 19th over and grabbed another 19 runs for MI in the last over. He showed SRH what a big mistake it was to drop his catch.
MI bowlers did exactly what was needed. MI brought legbreaker Chahar as early in the fourth over and got the results straight away, as he took the big scalp, Jonny Bairstow. Joseph removed Warner to mark his arrival, with the first-ball wicket, also a wicket maiden over. The wicket did not follow any celebrations from him, as he admitted later, he thought the job was not yet done. Perhaps he knew he had to take five more wickets and win the math for MI. At halfway mark, MI restricted SRH at 59 for 3. In next 7.4 overs, they lost 7 wickets, adding only 37 runs. Joseph ended 26 runs partnership between Hooda and Nabi. His two wickets in the 16th over and another two in the 18th over just sealed the match.
Pollard scored 46 runs in 26 balls while de Kock made 19 off 18. Joseph bagged 6 wickets for 12 runs in his 3.4 overs, with 16 dot balls. Chahar took two wickets for 21 with 13 dot balls.
It will be Sunrisers Hyderabad’s away match against Kings XI Punjab on 8th April at IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. Both teams lost their previous match, both teams hold 6 points. Sunrisers will have to work hard to beat Kings XI who have a clean sheet at their home so far.
In a home match next, Mumbai Indians will also meet Kings XI Punjab on 10th April, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. After beating Chennai at home and defeating Hyderabad now, MI must be high on confidence to seal yet another match on the home turf.
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