HYDERABAD: When Sunrisers Hyderabad chose to bat against Kolkata Knight Riders on a bright, sunny afternoon at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, pundits would have called it a right decision. Conditions favourable for batting and deck flat, the orange army still couldn’t capitalise on the advantage.
As early as in the first over, Sunrisers skipper David Warner got a lifeline when he skied a rising delivery from Morne Morkel into the hands of Piyush Chawla. The umpire called no-ball.
But Warner’s stay at the wicket was short-lived, and so it was for some of the others who followed. Shikhar Dhawan’s mediocre run continued. He was gone after two boundaries early in the innings. The middle-order batsmen also found the going tough. After the 10th over at 50 for four, Sunrisers were more than in a spot of bother.
Then came Eoin Morgan and Naman Ojha. The two strung together a partnership of 67 to take Hyderabad to 142. Sunil Narine, making a comeback of sorts with a modified action, bowled disciplined lines and gave away 26 runs, but without taking wickets. The star was Umesh Yadav, who bagged three wickets and bowled well in tandem with Morkel.
KKR’s batting was almost flawless after the superlative bowling effort. The leader of the pack, Gautam Gambhir impressed again and scored 90 not out off 60 deliveries. It was his 28th IPL half-century.
While other batsmen found it tough against Mustafizur Rahman, Gambhir didn’t show signs of discomfort. He, in fact, creamed him over mid-wicket for a four and a six straight over the bowler’s head, in the same over.
The only solace for the 16,424 supporters was a cross-seam yorker from Rahman that castled Andre Russell. In the end, KKR posted a convincing eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. It was their second win in three games. Sunrisers are still to open their account after two matches.
“We are capable of turning it around quickly. We saw Mumbai Indians do that last season, though it’s not the ideal position to be,” said Sunrisers coach Tom Moody. “We have to remain positive and look ahead and put up collective team efforts.”
Brief scores: SRH 142/7 in 20 ovs (Morgan 51, Ojha 37, Yadav 3/28, Morkel 2/35) lost to KKR 146/2 in 18.2 ovs (Gambhir 90 no, Uthappa 38).