It was an overcast evening in Hyderabad but the mood of the Hyderabad team was bright. They were on a streak, winning their last 3 matches comfortably. The opponents Rising Pune Supergiants were pretty much like the weather – Gloomy.
They had the weight of 4 consecutive losses on their back. And then there was rain, just as the players took the field, it started pouring down and the covers were called on before the first ball was bowled. Probably that was it. The Rain washed it all for both. The fortunes reversed and the results too. RPS was all over the Sunrisers like a rash.
One change in the team proved to be a masterstroke from Dhoni.
Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl on a fresh Hyderabad wicket. Even he wouldn’t have expected what was to follow. The new man in the team today – Ashoke Dinda had the new ball in the hand and he weaved magic with it for his team, removing the Hyderabad mainstay David Warner for a duck off the 4th ball of the innings.
Warner’s wicket was a morale booster for Pune and spine breaking for Hyderabad. Sunrisers were yet to see a match where Warner did not take them through and they were stranded.
The fast bowlers from Pune wrecked Hyderabad again and again reducing them to a disastrous 32 for 5 in 8 overs. Ashoke Dinda and Mitchell Marsh sharing 2 wickets apiece in their first spell and Ashwin getting one. Opener Shikhar Dhawan was stranded at one end amongst the ruins. Number 7 for Hyderabad, Naman Ojha along with Dhawan tried to anchor the innings to a safe total. They had added 47 in 8.3 overs before Dinda returned to castle Ojha as his 3rd wicket. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar coming in at number 9 gave some momentum to the innings with an 8 ball 21 runs to push the team score beyond 100.
SRH finished at 118 for 8 with Shikhar Dhawan carrying the bat through for 56 runs off 53 balls.
119 was not a big total by any account but SRH had to believe that they could try to make a match out of it. The raised some hopes as well by removing Pune opener Ajinkya Rahane in the 1st over for a duck but that was it. Steven Smith and Faf Du Plessis carried out their task professionally to add 80 for the 2nd wicket in just 8.2 overs and shutting down the match for Hyderabad.
Pune were 94 for 3 in 11 overs when the skies opened up again, this time to decide the match by Duckworth-Lewis method and Pune was 34 runs ahead.
This win for Pune just might be the launchpad they were looking to bounce back. They bowled really well and batted decently to tick all the positives in the match. Sunrisers on the on the other hand would like to shrug off this loss as a one off bad day at office. They have been playing some good cricket throughout the tournament and should look to do the same ahead.