Maxwell makes Sunrisers pay
The surprise onslaught
Cheteshwar Pujara has had a difficult time adapting to the Twenty20 format, a struggle that continued today as well. He had reached 3 off 8 deliveries when Dale Steyn, the premier fast bowler in the world, was brought back for his second over. Just as his fans braced for more laborious, ineffective strokes Pujara began the over with a crisply-struck lofted boundary to cow corner and unleashed two more fours in the next three deliveries. The gamble of giving Steyn an extra over in the early stages had come unstuck.
With Glenn Maxwell in the form he is in, the opposition need to grab every chance he offers. If Sunrisers Hyderabad could have chosen which fielder they wanted to take a skier from Maxwell, they would have picked David Warner. It was Warner who was under the ball when Maxwell miscued towards long-off in the 10th over. Warner was quick off the rope and was perfectly positioned to pouch it, but he inexplicably missed it, adding to a lengthy list of dropped catches this season. He barely got his hands on it, before the ball hit him on the midriff and fell to the ground. A moment later, Warner too was lying on the ground, clutching his head in disappointment. Maxwell was on 11 at that stage.
Two balls later it was Pujara who offered a chance. He charged down the pitch and launched the ball towards long-on. It wasn't going to clear the rope, and Darren Sammy was getting in line with it near the boundary. At the last moment, though, Sammy seemed to lose the ball in the lights, and turned away from the ball. He was facing the crowds as the ball whizzed past him for a one-bounce four.
Even before the ball had got to Warner for that dropped chance, Sammy had been celebrating the dismissal of Maxwell. In the 15th over, he waited till the catch was taken in the deep before giving Maxwell a send-off. The smile was wiped off, again, though, when the umpires asked for the replay and saw that Sammy's front foot was well over the line when he delivered the ball.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo