Synopsis: Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting lynchpin David Warner flops, while comeback man Mitchell Marsh swings it for Pune. In the end, Steve Smith announces his emphatic return to form to see the visitors home.
David Warner’s exploits at the top of the order has been one of the reasons why the Sunrisers Hyderabad have enjoyed such an impressive run in IPL 9. With three consecutive fifties, he has given Hyderabad emphatic starts in all their games so far. Sadly, that was not the case today. At home against the resolute Rising Pune Supergiants, Warner perished for a duck to expose Hyderabad’s untested middle order. It was a pretty innocuous shot, which had fetched Ashok Dinda a wicket — short and wide outside the off stump, which Warner slashes hard, only to find Ajinkya Rahane at backward point.
Warner’s dismissal brought in Ranji Trophy winning Mumbai captain Aditya Tare. His stint was shortlived, as he perished trying to hook Dinda over long on. Tragedy stuck as Eoin Morgan perished next, caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh. The prodigious seam movement by Dinda and Mitchell Marsh were causing problems for Hyderabad’s batters. At the end of Powerplay, the home side had trudged along to 3 for 27. There was absolutely no resistance barring Shikhar Dhawan and Naman Ojha, who forged a 47-run stand for the sixth wicket. After Ojha’s dismissal, the lower order just fell like a pack of cards. Meanwhile, Dhawan rode his luck to carve a half century. In the end, Hyderabad folded for 118, their second lowest total in IPL.
Marsh swings it for Pune
Ahead of their encounter against Hyderabad, Pune’s head coach had said his side were still looking for the right combinations. One of the baffling choices made by Pune so far was to ignore all-rounder Mitchell Marsh from their playing XI for three consecutive games. The Western Australian was finally included in the mix at Uppal tonight. And he didn’t disappoint his skipper though. Opening the bowling with Dinda, he bowled sharp and hit good lines. He got the ball to nip around, and fluffed all chances of Hyderabad’s middle order resurgence by snapping the wickets of Eoin Morgan and compatriot Moises Henriques in quick time. Marsh finished with figures of 4-0-14-2. Apart from Marsh, Dinda (3/23), and Ravi Ashwin (1/14) were the chief architects for Pune’s resounding display in the first innings.
Smith roars back into form
Pune got the ideal platform to kickstart their campaign this season. A target of 119 was supposed to be a cake walk. Even if you have a bowler like Ashish Nehra as your No.1 bowler in the opposition. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, however, gave Hyderabad hope, as he picked up Ajinkya Rahane early in the chase. Rahane’s dismissal brought in an out-of-form Steven Smith. With a paltry score to chase down, Smith got into the act, by orchestrating a full blooded pull off Nehra to score his first boundary. Smith, however, was at his belligerent best against Mustafizur Rahman. He is one bowler who has troubled the best in the business with his slower off-cutters and his sharp yorkers. Using his supple wrists, the Aussie captain flicks the Bangladeshi pacer twice — first over the mid-on region, and then over mid wicket to keep the scoreboard ticking. Meanwhile, Faf Du Plessis too got into the act, muscling a six and two boundaries off Bipul Sharma. Du Plessis departed for 30, and captain MS Dhoni departed two overs later. However, heavy rains stopped play at the end of the 11th over. In the end, Pune were the winners as they were comfortably ahead by 34 runs according to the D/L method.