Half-centuries from Yuvraj Singh and Moises Henriques lit up the opening match of the 10th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), powering Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to a formidable 207 for 4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Electing to field first, the Shane Watson-led RCB was pummelled for runs right from the beginning from the defending champions’ batsmen, with Shikhar Dhawan scoring a vital 31-ball 40 and adding 74 runs at almost 9 an over. Moises scored a 37-ball 52 but the limelight was hogged by Yuvraj, who raced to his fastest half-century in IPL, off a mere 23 balls. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017
Yuvraj was at his brutal best on Wednesday night, clobbering 7 boundaries and 3 sixes to score 67 off a mere 27 balls. He was ruthless against anything that was bowled short at him, pulling those deliveries with a lot of force towards the leg side for runs. He even picked up a slower one from Tymal Mills towards the end to send it sailing over the ropes, proving how good he was watching the ball. Earlier in the innings, a six over the cover region had helped Yuvraj make his intentions clear. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: SRH vs RCB, IPL 2017 Match 1
Warner showed early fireworks before perishing to the left-arm seamer Aniket Choudhary. Warner began the IPL 10 with a four past point on the third ball of the tournament from Tymal Mills, and hit over mid off for his second boundary in the next over. Choudhary, who claimed the wicket of Warner, was hit for a huge six over deep midwicket on a free-hit. However, Warner fell on the next ball, making the mistake of playing in the air with Mandeep Singh taking a sharp catch at point.
Warner’s dismissal had no impact on the Sunrisers Hyderabad whatsoever, as Dhawan and Henriques kept the momentum on their side. Despite a horrible mix-up while running between the wickets which could have resulted in Henriques’ dismissal, the two batsmen gave no room to the opposition side to capitalise on.
RCB kept manoeuvring with their bowlers but Sunrisers had already found their rhythm. After the first 6 overs, SRH were 59 for 1 with Dhawan hammering RCB’s stand-in captain Shane Watson for 17 runs in his first over, which included as many as four boundaries.
Dhawan and Henriques added 74 runs for the second wicket, scoring at almost 9 an over. Not a single opportunity to hit boundaries or sixes was missed, but the running between the wickets improved as the partnership progressed. Both Dhawan and Henriques found gaps, and the rotation of strike was seamless.
RCB tried out as many as seven bowlers in the first 11 overs, but did not have much success. Boundaries flowed easily for Sunrisers and the trend seemed to continue when Stuart Binny came on. Dhawan picked up a slower ball very early, he got on his knees and steered it past the short fine-leg for his fifth boundary. Dhawan, however, could not execute another big stroke when he danced down the track on the next ball, looking to clear long on.
Sachin Baby took a simple catch to end Dhawan’s hopes of a fifty in the tournament opener, ending his innings at 40 off 31 balls with 5 boundaries.
Yuvraj began with a couple of strokes in the gaps for two runs each, and opened up with the bowlers providing him the width. He collected 18 runs off the 13th over of the innings from Aniket, getting his first boundary off an inside edge but followed it up with a terrific stroke over cover for a six. A short ball followed and Yuvraj hammered it for another boundary. Luck favoured the cricketer as well when Sreenath Aravind spilled a regulation catch at deep square leg on the final ball, and Yuvraj rubbed it in with a four off a short ball from Watson in the next over.
Meanwhile, Henriques continued to collect runs and brought up the first half-century of the tournament with a six. He had played excellent supportive roles to Dhawan earlier and then Yuvraj, but fell right after his half-century as Henriques decided to open up. He was dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal, caught by Sachin Baby at long-on once again. Henriques’ 52 runs came off 37 balls, 3 boundaries and 2 sixes.
More to follow…
Sunrisers Hyderabad 207 for 4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 40, Moises Henriques 52, Yuvraj Singh 67; Yuzvendra Chahal 1 for 22) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore