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Moody blames early no-balls for Sunrisers' crushing defeat

"A no-ball wicket and a dropped catch [off a no-ball], and a total of six wides cost us this game"

Hemant Brar
Hemant Brar
Little went right for Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match of IPL 2022, against Rajasthan Royals, but according to their head coach Tom Moody, it was four no-balls in the first five overs that cost them the game.
The first of those no-balls came in the opening over of the match. In the seaming conditions at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Jos Buttler nicking one to Abdul Samad at first slip, only for replays to show he had overstepped. Buttler, who was yet to open his account, went on to score 35 off 28.
Bhuvneshwar bowled another no-ball in the third over of the innings, and to rub it in, Yashasvi Jaiswal clipped the following free-hit for four.
From the other end, Umran Malik also found Buttler's outside edge, and while the ball burst through Samad's fingers in the cordon and went for four, it wouldn't have mattered because once again it wasn't a legal delivery.
"It's unacceptable - no-balls in this form of the game," Moody said after Sunrisers's 61-run defeat. "You get heavily penalised and we paid the price. When you have dismissed arguably the opposition's best player and you have them on edge in the beginning of their innings - Bhuvi was bowling particularly well and [Romario] Shepherd's first over was also a strong over - it sets a totally different tone, when you have taken that wicket and the ball is still moving around. It wasn't an easy new-ball wicket but we didn't take advantage of it. Once you give a life to someone of Jos Buttler's quality, he will bring out all his tricks and realise that he is on a free one.
"I think four no-balls in the first five overs, a no-ball wicket and a dropped catch [off a no-ball] in the first five overs, and a total of six wides cost us this game."
Sunrisers didn't have a great start with the bat either. Chasing 211, they lost their captain Kane Williamson in the second over itself. But it wasn't a straightforward dismissal. Williamson got an outside edge against Prasidh Krishna but Sanju Samson, diving to his right, could only get a glove on it. Devdutt Padikkal, though, collected the rebound at first slip. The decision went to the third umpire and KN Ananthapadmanabhan deemed it was a clean catch. However, it looked like the ball had bounced just in front of the fielder.
"We were very surprised that it was given out, particularly when we saw the replay," Moody said. "I can understand the on-field umpires taking it upstairs. When that happened, we saw the evidence. We are certainly not umpires but it looked pretty clear to us what the [correct] decision was."
In an overall dismal performance, Aiden Markram and Washington Sundar's knocks were the only bright spots for Sunrisers. Markram stayed unbeaten on 57 off 41 balls, and Washington, coming in at No. 8, struck 40 off just 14 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes.
"We recognised Washington is an outstanding allrounder, hence we were excited to get him in the mega auction," Moody said. "We anticipate that over time he is going to play a significant role with bat and ball. At the moment, with the balance of the side, he was positioned at No. 8 but that's certainly not the permanent position for him. We have got an open mind to where he is going to end up over time, whether it's this season or seasons to come. We recognise there is some real quality there."

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo