The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) stormed to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table with a dominant 118-run victory over a hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Although Chennai who take the field later could replace the Sunrisers at the top, yet SRH will be delighted with the manner of their victory with both openers notching up centuries to set a dominant total of 231/2 for RCB to chase.
If the carnage launched on their bowlers by the SRH openers wasn’t enough to knock the stuffing out of RCB then Mohammed Nabi made sure they were done and dusted by the end of the 4th over reducing them to 22/3. Making his maiden start this season, Nabi sent back Parthiv Patel, Shimron Hetmyer and AB de Villiers inside his first two overs.
If that wasn’t enough, Sandeep Sharma got the all-important wicket of Virat Kohli at the start of the 7th over before Moeen Ali was run out off the very next delivery. Nabi then returned to scalp Shivam Dube in the 8th over and ensure that barring Parthiv (11) all of the other top-6 RCB batsmen return without touching double figures.
Colin de Grandhomme then stitched together a 51-run partnership with debutant Prayas Ray Burman which ended in the 16th over with Burman becoming Sandeep Sharma’s second victim of the night. RCB batsmen were all over the place with their batting and both Umesh Yadav and de Grandhomme were run out in the span of two overs. Sandeep then wrapped up proceedings when he dismissed Yuzvendra Chahal in the final over to cap off a dominant victory.
Earlier in the match, Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first didn’t go as planned with David Warner and Jonny Bairstow stitching together a record-breaking opening stand. The previous record for the highest opening stand was the 184-run partnership between Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir for Kolkata in 2017. The SRH duo scored 185 off just 98 deliveries with Bairstow bringing up his maiden IPL century in the 16th over. The Englishman finished with 114 off 56 when he was finally dismissed by Chahal in the 17th over. Shankar hit a six off the first ball he faced but walked back after getting run out on just 9.
However, Warner who has been in great form since the start of the IPL completed his 100 in the final over of the match. Warner remained unbeaten on 100 as the Sunrisers finished with an imposing total of 231/2.
A brilliant opening spell from Mohammed Nabi completely turned the game in Hyderabad’s favour. Nabi picked up 3 wickets in the span of 5 deliveries sending back Parthiv Patel, Shimron Hetmyer and de Villiers within his first two overs. The early blows completely took the fight out of RCB while chasing a big total.
It’s not every day that off-spinners are able to get the better of AB de Villiers. The hard-hitting South African danced down the track to deposit Nabi over the fence but was outdone by the change of pace as Nabi sent down a much slower delivery which stayed straight to clatter into the stumps. It was only the third time that de Villiers was dismissed bowled by an off-spinner in the IPL with Sunil Narine the only other player to achieve the feat in 2014 and 2017.
Batsman of the Match
Jonny Bairstow was absolutely brilliant as he outscored the in-form Warner reaching his 100 in just 52 balls in the 16th over. Bairstow finished with 12 fours and 7 sixes to his name during his 56-ball 114 run innings. He looked imperious as he tore into the RCB bowling attack with consummate ease.
Bowler of the Match
Mohammed Nabi outshone his Afghanistan teammate Rashid Khan with a brilliant spell of 4-0-11-4. His early wickets sealed the fate of the match and batsmen just could find ways to take runs off him as he mixed up his deliveries with good variations.
RCB don’t have much time to recover from this setback as they travel to Rajasthan to take on the Rajasthan Royals on April 2. Sunrisers next travel to Delhi where they will be up against the Delhi Capitals on April 4.
Points tableThe win takes Sunrisers to the top of the points table with a superior net run rate of +2.111. RCB who haven’t won any of their opening three games find themselves sitting at the bottom of the pile. Check out the updated points table here.