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The Report by Alagappan Muthu
April 30, 2014
Sunrisers Hyderabad 172 for 5 (Warner 65, Rahul 46) beat Mumbai Indians 157 for 7 (Pollard 78, Pathan 2-10, Steyn 2-20) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mumbai need to sort their batting order
Sunrisers Hyderabad gritted their teeth nearly 10 overs without a boundary. David Warner was muzzled so profoundly that he was striking under 100 as late as the 15th over. But then he woke up. He used the slow start as a foundation and collected a half-century that proved the difference. But his patience might have been a mere footnote had Irfan Pathan not delivered a brilliant final over. He had 20 to defend and the first ball of sneaked through Kieron Pollard's defences and seeing the back of a man who hit 78 off 48 balls is usually enough to seal the game, and it was. Pathan only gave away four runs.
Mumbai Indians were flummoxed by the pace and swing of Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The asking rate rose north of 10 in the 5th over and at 31 for 3, recovery seemed a remote possibility. Only no one had bothered to clue Pollard in. After a jittery start, he remembered his penchant for brutality. Amit Mishra, a far cry from the one that turned up for India in the World T20, was razed for 27 in the 17th over. Rohit Sharma, who was confident today was the game Mumbai would pull off their much-needed turnaround, began contemplating an improbable victory. But much to the birthday boy's chagrin, his side just ran out of juice.
Sunrisers were conscious of their batsmen needing to provide better cover to their bowlers, and opted for Naman Ojha and Irfan to add depth. Ojha smashed the final two balls of the innings for fours and Irfan shouldered the burden of bowling the 16th and the 20th overs with consummate proficiency. Slower balls, yorkers and a refusal to hand width highlighted his two-over spell which ensured Steyn's fearsome bursts and Bhuvneshwar's control were not in vain.
In between though, Mishra braced against a clobbering at the hands of Pollard. The 13th over was biffed for 19 runs and signalled the first challenge from Mumbai. A daunting 87 off 42 was being chipped away. It didn't seem to matter whether Mishra gave the ball air or fired it in, Pollard revved up and mauled five of his six sixes off the legspinner, who ended with 0 for 54. At the other end, Ambati Rayudu ensured he wasn't lost in the slipstream during a 77-run stand for the fourth wicket. The equation was diluted to 31 off the final three overs, but that was when Sunrisers dug deep. Steyn, as ever, delivered when it mattered, ceding only four runs in the 18th, and Bhuvneshwar just seven in the next, to put Sunrisers ahead going into Irfan's final over.
Sunrisers' batting resources were lumped too tightly at the top and an early wicket prompted a change of tactic. KL Rahul's technical correctness was banked on to minimise the damage. Mumbai were adamant on not giving the batsmen any room and their fielders were no shy of hurtling after the ball if it was anywhere near their vicinity. They were desperate.
Rahul blunted the challenge, placing faith in his footwork against spin and nudges around the ground to keep the scoreboard ticking. He knew Warner was better equipped to lead the charge.
Harbhajan Singh did his best to plant doubts, constantly foiling Warner's attempts to blaze away in the early goings with a remarkable control of flight and line. Warner fronted 16 balls from the offspinner and could summon only nine runs. But as the death overs came, Warner found his touch. Batting both right- and left-handed, he inspired Sunrisers to crash 73 in the last six overs.
Pragyan Ojha was carted repeatedly over midwicket and the partnership with Rahul blossomed to 101 - Sunrisers' second hundred-plus stand of the season and that was the partnership that forced Mumbai into a position of having to win almost all of their matches in the India leg to progress in the tournament.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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