The IPL is at the business end now and the cricket has got even more serious. No team wants to give even an inch to the other and it is quite evident by the margins of recent results. The matches are getting tougher and fiercely fought. The match between the Rising Pune Supergiants and Sunrisers Hyderabad had a simple story to it; The Supergiants had to win the match to stay alive in the tournament and they started in the right fashion.
Sunrisers won the toss and elected to bat first, looking at the result of their previous match against the Mumbai Indians at the same venue. The ball tends to move more in the second innings here as the weather cools down and the sea breeze across the ground helps seam bowling.
Pune Supergiants looked determined to win the match from ball 1 no matter what the situation and it showed in their bowling. Ashok Dinda and RP Singh started well with the ball getting some swing. They bowled in good areas to not allow the Sunrisers to get away with any sort of a start. The man of the tournament so far for the Sunrisers – David Warner had a rare failure this season as he was removed by RP Singh for just 11 runs off 14 balls in the 4th over of the innings. The runs were coming at a premium for Hyderabad in the powerplay. Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson played out a lot of dot balls trying to resurrect the innings but once Dhawan got set he covered up the gap quite fast. Dhawan was looking set for big score just when he fell trying to loft R Ashwin’s flighted turning ball. He scored 33 runs from 27 balls. That brought Yuvraj Singh to the crease to join Kane Williamson.
Yuvraj was tentative initially against the Ashwin but opened up as got some pace on the ball. He hit 2 trademark sixes and a four off 3 consecutive deliveries to signal danger for Pune but was dismissed soon after by Leggie Adam Zampa.
This was the beginning of record breaking spell as Zampa picked up wicket after wicket as the batsmen tried to attack him, giving away literally no runs at all.He got 2 wickets in his 3rd over and 3 more wickets in his and the innings last over to end up with unbelievable figures for 6 wickets for 19 runs in 4 overs. Hyderabad was restricted to a smaller score of 137 for 8.
If Sunrisers had to make a match of it, the bowling needed to be special and special it was. With conditions proving helpful for seam bowling the dangerous Hyderabad seam bowling attack looked more potent. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the in form Ajinkya Rahane for a duck off his 3rd ball of the first over. Ashish Nehra from the other end was consistently beating the edges regularly. Runs were hard to come by. The batsmen at the crease, Usman Khawaja and George Bailey were struggling for survival and even a lucky escape for Bailey (given not out off a clear edge) off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar could not help.
Khawaja got run out in the 4th over to leave his side at 19 for 2 after 4 overs. In fact they could score just 25 runs in the 6 overs of powerplay. Ashwin was sent ahead of other batsmen at No. 4 to accompany George Bailey and rescue the team. The duo played out overs and tried to get some momentum but Bailey got out in the 11th over at a crucial time to open the gates for Hyderabad. They slide started as they kept losing wickets and at the end of the 15th over, Pune were 86 for 5, needing another 52 runs from 5 overs with Dhoni and Perera at the crease.
Both the batsmen are well capable of finishing the match on their own but today was not their day. Sunrisers bowled well to keep the pressure on while Dhoni kept stretching the match to the last over.
Sunrisers bowled to a plan and did not give away easy runs. The Supergiants needed 14 off the last over to be bowled by Ashish Nehra. Nehra gave away just 2 runs and got the wicket of Perera in the first 3 balls. Dhoni was on strike with 12 needed off 3 and then came out the shot. Dhoni hit Nehra for 6 to reduce the equation to 6 off 2 balls and produced some hope for the fans. But it was an anti climax as Dhoni got run out off the 5th ball going for a double. Practically that was the match for Hyderabad. 4 required off the last ball to tie the match with Adam Zampa on strike, Nehra bowled a swinging Yorker to get the edge of Zampa. The ball was flying towards the boundary just when the wicket keeper Naman Ojha flew to his right and intercepted the ball in the way, giving Nehra the 2nd wicket of the over and a brilliant win to his team Hyderabad.
It was a classical match of cricket. It looked like the match was being played somewhere in England and not in India as the ball swung everywhere.The bowlers from both sides put up an exhibition but it was Sunrisers Hyderabad who came up victorious. Hyderabad look unbeatable and good to go the distance while the Rising Pune Supergiants are out of the race.