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IPL 2016: Sunrisers fail the Royal Challenge


IPL 2016: Sunrisers fail the Royal Challenge: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), handed over a 45-run defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) when both locked horns in their respective tournament opener at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Put into bat by the visitors, RCB lost the ‘big man’ Chris Gayle (1) very early in the innings. Gayle, who was expected to ‘set the stadium on fire’ was removed by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in the second delivery of the second over of RCB innings.

Thereafter the skipper of RCB, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, literally went on a run-spree, scoring at will. The duo put on a 157-run second partnership in 14.3 overs and looked to set a very stiff target for the opposition.

Kohli brought up his half-century in 40 deliveries with 5 fours and 2 sixes while de Villiers’ half-ton came up in only 26 deliveries aided by 4 fours and equal number of sixes.

In the penultimate delivery of the 16th over, Kohli fell to a yorker bowled by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Keeping low at the leg stump, Kohli tried to ward it away,  missed the line and was bowled round the leg but not before scoring a well made 75 runs off 5 deliveries with 7 fours and 3 sixes at 147.05 strike rate.

AB de Villiers continued the onslaught in the company of Shane Watson (19) unless he was caught by Eoin Morgan off Mustafizur Rehman, who bowled an off-cutter which de Villiers wanted to send into orbit but miscued and Morgan made no mistake. ABD notched up 82 runs off just 42 deliveries studded with 7 fours and 6 sixes. RCB were 183/3 at that stage.

Rehman removed Watson in the very next delivery. Watson attempted a leg glance but ended up giving an easy catch to the wicket-keeper, Naman Ojha.

The young Sarfaraz Khan took over from where de Villiers left and plundered an unbeaten 35* runs off just 10 deliveries with 5 fours and 2 huge sixes.

RCB ended their innings with 227 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 20 overs.

Chasing a target of 228 runs, at 11.40 runs an over, could only be a dream never to fructify, unless all eleven batsmen were of ‘Gayle, Kohli or de Villiers’ mould.

Opening the innings, Dhawan (8) failed to take off while the SRH skipper, David Warner kept up one end going. He brought up his half-century in 21 deliveries with the help of 4 fours and 4 sixes.

Scoring 58 runs off 25 deliveries with 4 fours and 5 sixes, Warner fell in the ninth over. Thereafter, but for sporadic innings from the lower middle order, Eoin Morgan (22*), Ashish Reddy (32) and Karn Sharma (26*), there was no significant contribution coming in.

These were not enough to chase a stiff target and SRH could manage to score only 182 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.

Shane Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets each while Adam Milne and Parvez Rasoon picked up a wicket each.

AB de Villiers was awarded the Player of the Match.

At the post-match presentation, de Villiers said, “I absolutely love playing here. It was a nice busy innings with Virat. We enjoy running between the wickets. Like I said, I have been scratchy, even in the nets. The bowlers have played together for a few years. Watson and Milne have come in and the youngsters are feeding off the experience. It is always important to start well and find your identity as a team. This is the kind of cricket we want to play this year.”

A disgusted David Warner, skipper of SRH said. “I won”t take it away from AB and Kohli. Sarfaraz did his bit as well. It was a tough ask for the boys. Nehra has hurt his groin again. He will be out for a couple of games. Mustafizur was fantastic. We have to look back at positives and turn it around. We have a good batting track at Hyderabad. We should not lose wickets in clumps.”

An elated Virat Kohli, skipper RCB said, “We lost the toss and did not get what we wanted to. It was a really good effort from the batsmen and Parvez showed composure. It is never easy for the spinners to bowl in Bangalore. Parvez was the stand-out bowler for me today. Last year, me and AB had a good partnership in Mumbai. He hit balls as only he can. It was a pleasure playing with him. He took some pressure off me.”

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