The Rising Pune Supergiant registered their third win of the tournament by defeating the Sunrisers Hyderabad at Pune in a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire. SRH were put into bat first and got off to a slow start. However, a 21-ball partnership of 47 between Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda propelled the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a total of 176/3 in their 20 overs.
In reply, RPS lost Ajinkya Rahane early but a brilliant partnership of 72 between Rahul Tripathi and Steve Smith kept RPS in the game before both got dismissed. When it seemed that the Sunrisers Hyderabad might win it, MS Dhoni finally came to life by smashing the SRH bowlers to all parts of the ground.
Dhoni reached his maiden half-century of the tournament and finished the match by smashing a sensational boundary through extra cover. The win took Rising Pune Supergiant to the fourth position in the standings while SRH missed their opportunity to reach the top 2 of the table.
Here are five things that went wrong for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the match.
#5 Bipul Sharma dropping Rahul Tripathi in the fifth over
Bipul Sharma was brought in to play today’s match against the Rising Pune Supergiant in place of Yuvraj Singh who was feeling unwell. Sharma got off to a good start, giving away only two runs in his first over and getting the important scalp of Rahane in the first ball of his next over.
However, his second over was ruined by Steve Smith and Rahul Tripathi who hit two boundaries off his bowling but things got even worse for Sharma in the very next over.
Mohammed Siraj bowled a bouncer to Tripathi who got a top edge in an attempt to hook the delivery. The resultant edge travelled to Bipul Sharma who ran in from short fine leg, only to put down a difficult attempt. Tripathi was batting on just 17 at that time and Sharma’s drop proved costly as he went on to score a sensational 59 from just 39 deliveries.
#4 Deploying Mohammed Siraj and Siddharth Kaul during the death overs
With RPS needing 47 to win from the final three overs, victory looked assured for SRH. However, their bowlers let them down as MS Dhoni inspired RPS to a sensational victory by hitting a boundary off the last ball of the innings.
The Sunrisers gave the responsibility of bowling the death overs to the likes of Mohammad Siraj and Siddharth Kaul who were expensive throughout the match. Siraj’s 18th over in which Dhoni smashed him for a couple of boundaries gave the former Indian skipper the momentum and once he began to get going, there was no stopping him as he smashed 19 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
For the final over, SRH had to choose either one of Moises Henriques or Siddharth Kaul and David Warner decided to go with the latter. Kaul had conceded 32 runs from just two overs and giving him the job of bowling the final over ahead of Henriques who had gone for just four runs in his opening over proved costly as Kaul failed to defend 11 and SRH lost the game.
#3 Slow batting by the openers
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have a brilliant opening combination in Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner, both of whom are capable of giving flying starts. However, today, both players batted quite slowly; Warner played unusually slowly and his play reminded us of his 140-ball century against Sri Lanka at the 2012 CB series final.
Dhawan was dismissed after scoring 30 from 29 deliveries while Warner made 43 off 40 balls. Even though both these scores were pretty decent, the strike rates were far from adequate.
The duo’s 55-run opening stand was the slowest half-century stand of this season for any wicket. Had Warner and Shawan scored more quickly, the Sunrisers Hyderabad would have comfortably raced to a total of 200+ and the outcome may have been different.
#2 Finishing Rashid Khan’s spell early
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan has had a pretty decent IPL so far, having bowled some pretty crucial spells for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The teenager was pretty impressive with the ball today as well, conceding only 17 runs in his four overs and picking up the wicket of RPS skipper Steve Smith.
However, what seemed strange was that SRH used him up quite early as Khan’s quota was finished by the 14th over of the innings. Instead, SRH decided to save the likes of Siddharth Kaul and Mohammed Siraj for the latter overs which turned out to be a blunder as RPS scored heavily during the death overs to clinch the victory.
#1 Poor bowling
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have always been known for their potent bowling attack. Even in this season, SRH have an abundance of quality bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra and Rashid Khan, to name a few.
However, the SRH bowling was horrific today as barring Rashid Khan, every single bowler who bowled at least three overs went for above seven an over. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bowled a sensational spell of 5/19 in the previous game against Kings XI Punjab, conceded 39 runs from his four overs with 19 of them coming during his final over alone.
The likes of Siddharth Kaul and Mohammed Siraj flopped heavily as both conceded above 40 runs with the former bowling only three overs. If SRH are to continue staying in the top four, then they will have to improve on their bowling, especially with their next match coming against the Royal Challengers Bangalore who have a formidable batting order.