Hyderabad: Covers on. Covers off. Covers back on. Covers back off. And then there was mayhem. Mother Nature and Rising Pune Supergiants combined well to rain on the Sunrisers’ Hyderabad parade in their Indian Premier League match here on Tuesday. Asked to bat, the hosts lost wickets by the bucket and scored at a trickle to post only 118 for 8 in 20overs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium.
Ashok Dinda was the star for the visiting side, taking 3 for 23, breaking the spine of the Eagles’ batting line-up. A muggy evening here was made stuffier by a few half-hearted showers of rain, delaying the start of the match by 30 minutes. And when play finally began, the Sunrisers would probably have wished it never had, so poor was their show with the bat in front of the home crowd.
Batsmen came and departed quickly, barely tickling the scorers as Pune’s bowlers maintained a stranglehold on the scoring throughout.
The tone for the innings was set by the dismissal of danger-man David Warner. The Hyderabad skipper was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Dinda for his first duck in 29 IPL innings. Aditya Tare (8), Eoin Morgan (0), Deepak Hooda (1) and Moises Henriques (1) made no impression out in the middle as the hosts were suddenly tottering on 32 for 5.
All Shikhar Dhawan could do was watch on helplessly at the other end, and try and score as many whenever he got the strike. In the end. In a welcome return to form, the southpaw scored 56 (53b, 2x4, 1x6) for his second consecutive half-century. All this while, he kept losing batting partners.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21 — 8b, 3x4, 1x6) surprisingly, played a plucky little cameo to take the hosts past the 100-run mark, something that had seemed unlikely earlier in the game. Due credit must be given to the Supergiants. Taking note of the helpful conditions, they bowled well within themselves and let the batsmen, in their eagerness to score big, make the mistakes. And how the Sunrisers obliged. There was no standout stroke from the Eagles in their outing....