Yuvraj Singh proved to be the difference as Sunrisers Hyderabad took the opening game of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Chasing a mighty total of 208, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) showed some moments of brilliance, but regular strikes from Sunrisers didn’t let RCB get away.
Cricingif looks at some of the moments that defined the game.
After the early loss of David Warner, Moises Henriques and Dhawan laid a solid base for the batsman to come. The pair contributed 74 to the total for the second wicket. One of the under-rated players in Sunrisers' triumph last year, Henriques batted effortlessly at No. 3 after Warner fell against the run of play. Even though Dhawan struck at a potentially damaging strike rate of 129 over 31 balls, Henriques didn't let the momentum stall– scoring 52 off 37 balls.
After a strong foundation from Shikhar Dhawan and Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh put his brilliant best on the show as he smashed his fastest 50 of the IPL, coming in just 23 balls. He smashed Aniket Choudhary for two fours and a six. His innings of 62 off 27 balls included 7 fours and 3 maximums. The highlight of his innings was when Mills, one of the best at the slower leg-cutter, found him waiting for that very delivery. Yuvraj proceeded to send it sailing over midwicket for a six. Ben Cutting provided the final touches with two sixes in the last over, bowled again by Shane Watson.
In the absence of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle had to deliver for the RCB to have a shot. Despite getting a good start, Gayle couldn’t capitalise. Gayle looked threatening earlier, smashing Nehra for over the long on, repeating the same against Kumar in the next over. But soon loss his wicket on the very next ball after he had launched Hooda into the stands. A streak of ordinary performances in the T20 cricket in recent means there will be a lot of pressure on the RCB management as well, who might look for alrenatives next season in case Gayle fails to deliver this season
The fairytale continued for the Afghan boy as he claimed his first wicket of IPL on the fourth delivery of the innings as he rose to the challenge of bowling in the powerplay, and bowled Mandeep Singh in trademark fashion: bowled with a straighter delivery. He accounted for Travis Head in his third as the batsman miscued a slog of a wrongone, with the edge safely landing in the hands of long on fielder He finished with figures of 2/36.
Ben Cutting contributed in every way possible towards the success of Sunrisers as he followed 16 runs cameo off 6 balls with some clever bowling. But it was perhaps his direct hit from the fine leg to run Jhadav out that proved to be the turning point in RCB’s innings as the visitors couldn’t recover from there on. Jhadav along with Travis Head held the RCB innings together after the loss of openers.