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Sunrisers Hyderabad leaped three places to the top of the VIVO IPL 2016 standings after they defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by 85 runs on Sunday evening. After setting a target of 178, a sensational spell of bowling from Ashish Nehra broke the backbone of MI’s batting line-up in the first five overs. MI, reduced to 30 for 5 in the fifth over, never recovered from that poor start and were bowled out for 92 in the 17th over.
It wasn’t the best of starts for MI’s Visakhapatnam leg of home matches. In pursuit of 178, the defending champions lost Parthiv Patel to the last ball of the first over, courtesy Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s in-dipper. In the very next over, Ashish Nehra forced the MI captain and their man-in-form Rohit Sharma to drag one back onto his stumps. Returning to bowl his second over, Nehra surprised Ambati Rayudu with extra bounce off the surface, and the batsman could only watch as the ball took the shoulder of his bat and lob to short thirdman. Nehra nipped out Jos Buttler in the same over and MI’s chase was in tatters. It was brilliant exploitation of conditions from old warhorse; where the MI bowlers were guilty of not hitting the fuller length as often as they should have, Nehra landed the ball full and made good use of a lively pitch – which was freshened in the second half of the match by the effect of lights.
Barinder Sran, Mustafizur Rahman (who dismissed Hardik Pandya with his first delivery and then cleaned up the lower middle-order) and Moises Henriques (who dismissed the dangerous Kieron Pollard), were the other wicket-takers for the visitors. The SRH fielders held on to the catches their way, and Naman Ojha played an important role in the dismissals of Buttler and Jasprit Bumrah, diving full length to his right to pouch the outside edge.
Earlier in the evening, after being put in to bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad were steady at the start with David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan adding 23 runs in the first three overs. But when Harbhajan Singh was introduced into the attack in the fourth over, Warner teed off; he hit the off-spinner over the ropes second ball and then sliced one through point to pick up a boundary. With momentum established, Warner continued to attack the MI bowlers, picking up three boundaries in the next couple of overs. SRH were 50 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay phase; Warner was the dominant batsman at this stage scoring 37 from 22 balls, while Dhawan had made 13 from 14 balls.
The two left-handers extended their association to 85 runs when Warner attempted to hit Harbhajan Singh over the top in the tenth over but holed out to Kieron Pollard on the boundary. The SRH captain made 48 from 33 balls. A brilliant catch from Rohit Sharma ended Kane Williamson’s short stay at the crease and SRH were reduced to 91 for 2 in the twelfth over.
After three quiet overs, Yuvraj Singh, playing his 100th IPL match, broke the shackles hitting Pollard for a four and a six off the first two deliveries of the fifteenth over; the two strokes had the Yuvraj signature all over it – the first a drive through cover and then an on-drive that sent the ball into the stands at long-on. Dhawan, who was scoring at just about a run-a-ball until then, decided it was time to up the ante; he got stuck into Jasprit Bumrah in particular, picking up five boundaries of the bowler’s last two overs.
Yuvraj Singh (39 from 23 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) was dismissed in a bizarre manner in the final over; he stayed back in the crease to a delivery that was angled across from McClenaghan, but in the process of bringing his bat down, hit the stumps with his bat. He was the first batsman to be dismissed ‘Hit Wicket’ since Saurabh Tiwary suffered the same fate in 2012. Dhawan remained unbeaten on 82 – made from 57 balls; it wasn’t the most flashy innings from the left-hander, but he shouldered the responsibility and batted through to the end, in the process bringing up his third half-century of the season.
Mumbai Indians used seven bowlers on the night. Harbhajan Singh was the most successful bowler, returning figures of 2-29 from his four overs. McClenaghan, who bowled a very tight final overs, was the only other wicket-taker.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 177-3 in 20.0 Overs (Shikhar Dhawan 82*, David Warner 48, Harbhajan Singh 2-29) beat Mumbai Indians 92 all out in 16.3 overs (Harbhajan Singh 21*, Ashish Nehra 3-15, Mustafizur Rahman 3-16, Barinder Sran 2-18) by 85 runs.
Man of the Match: Ashish Nehra for his 3/13 in three overs
Top-class death bowling by Kings XI Punjab bowlers helped them edge past Delhi Daredevils by nine runs in the 36th match of the VIVO Indian Premier League. Having set a 182-run target, the two Sharmas – Mohit and Sandeep – stepped up to the task. They gave away just 57 runs from their eight overs, bowling a total of 20 dot balls.
The visitors were in control at the halfway stage having piled on 91 runs for the loss of one wicket. Needing another 91 from 60 balls, the visitors brought the equation down to 50 from the last six overs despite losing Sanju Samson (49). KC Cariappa removed the other set batsman, Karun Nair for 23 in the 16th over and the next over saw Sam Billings depart for just six. Marcus Stoinis, who earlier struck a half-century and had removed openers Quninton de Kock (52) and Samson, put his team ahead with the wicket of Billings. Despite the quick fall of wickets, the Daredevils still had Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris, but this time even the two expert finishers failed.
Having been hit for a four and a six by Brathwaite, Sandeep made an excellent return with a short ball that Brathwaite hit straight to deep mid-wicket. Needing 28 runs from 12 balls, Mohit then bowled a stunning penultimate over. Mixing his slower deliveries with full length yorkers, he effectively sealed the game by conceding just three runs.
When Sandeep charged in to bowl the final over, the Daredevils needed an improbable 25 runs. Morris hit a six off the fourth ball and young Rishabh Pant, batting at No.7, struck a boundary off the final ball, but the visitors still fell short.
Earlier, Hashim Amla’s first IPL stint ended rather abruptly after the South African batting star, walking in at one-drop, was run out after facing just five balls. His dismissal notwithstanding, the Kings posted their highest total this season with Stoinis and Wriddhiman Saha scoring half-centuries. Openers Murali Vijay and Stoinis nearly added 50 runs for the first wicket before Vijay was caught brilliantly by Brathwaite off Chris Morris.
The Daredevils opted to open the bowling with Shahbaz Nadeem and the left-arm spinner gave away just one in his first over before his second was hit for two fours. With Amla getting out in the seventh over, Kings were reduced to 48/2, but Saha gave fine company to Stoinis as the two began to resurrect the innings.
Stionis reached his maiden half-century in the IPL in the 14th over, but got out two balls later. With his partner back in the hut, Saha upped the ante and smashed Zaheer Khan for three straight boundaries after earlier hitting two boundaries in Amit Mishra’s third over. The Kings smashed 76 in the last six overs as they crossed the 180-run mark. Brief score: Kings XI Punjab 181/5 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 52, Wriddhiman Saha 52, Chris Morris 2/30) beat Delhi Daredevils 172/5 in 20 overs (Quinton 52, Sanju Samson 49, Marcus Stoinis 3/40) by 9 runs Man of the Match: Marcus Stoinis for his 52 off 30 balls & 3/40