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Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Sanguly and VVS Laxman were felicitated in the opening ceremony © AFP
Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore by 35 runs in the opening game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Yuvraj Singh was awarded Man of the Match for his blistering knock of 62 off just 27 deliveries. Asked in to bat first, SRH riding on handy knocks from opener Shikhar Dhawan (40) and Moises Henriques (52) and Yuvraj posted a huge total of 207 losing just 4 wickets. The RCB playing without their skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers succumbed to the pressure getting bowled out for 172 in 19.4 overs. For SRH, Ashish Nehra, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan took 2 wickets each playing pivotal roles in sealing a comfortable victory. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017
RCB’s top four — Chris Gayle (32), Mandeep Singh (24), Travis Head (30) and Kedar Jadhav (31) were all set before getting out. Kedar’s dismissal was the turning point as RCB were never in the match after that. The India international was looking dangerous during his 16-ball stay and was run-out when Ben Cutting’s direct throw from the deep found him short by a metre. On a belter where pacers became easy prey for the batsmen, Sunrisers skipper David Warner rotated his spinners well trying to take the pace off the deliveries.
Young Rashid, who created history by being the first Afghan to play an IPL match got Mandeep with a fuller delivery that didn’t turn. The batsman trying to cut got an inside edge onto the stumps. The celebration was atypical Shahid Afridi just like his style of fastish leg-breaks. Rashid also got Travis Head when the batsmen tried to play a slog sweep. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: SRH vs RCB, IPL 2017 Match 1
But Deepak Hooda got the most important wicket when he got Gayle trying to hit him over long-off for a second six only to be caught by Warner. Th wickets fell at regular intervals and there was no pressure on Sunrisers as they coasted to victory. Ashish Nehra (2/42) also gota couple of wickets to reach a personal milestone of 100 IPL victims.
On a batting beauty, Yuvraj smashed the RCB bowlers to cleaners after Srinath Aravind dropped a dolly at deep square leg boundary. Yuvraj was on 26 then and the let-off allowed him to score his fastest IPL half-century off 23 balls.
Yuvraj’s innings had seven fours and three sixes while Henriques’ innings had three fours and two sixes.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 207 for 4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 40, Moises Henriques 52, Yuvraj Singh 67; Yuzvendra Chahal 1 for 22) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 172 in 19.4 overs (Chris Gayle 32, Travis Head 30, Kedar Jadhav 31; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 27, Rashid Khan 2 for 36) by 35 runs.
Player of the Match: Yuvraj Singh.
(Inputs from PTI)