Sunrisers Hyderabad hadn’t lost a game at home until their last game and they were raring to erase that memory when they took on the table-toppers Mumbai Indians. On a two-paced surface, Mumbai Indians misread the pitch to an extent and could only manage 138 for 7 in their 20 overs, much credit of which would go to their skipper Rohit Sharma. Chasing a tricky total, SRH lost Warner early but the 91-run stand between Shikhar Dhawan and Moises Henriques put them comfortably on course for a comprehensive win, emerging victors by seven wickets with ten balls to spare.
When Rohit Sharma made a fist out of the sluggish Hyderabad wicketIf it is the norm in day-nighters for the pitch to aid batting with the ball coming onto the bat better, the surface at Hyderabad acted completely contrary to it. Mumbai Indians, who won the toss and elected to bat first, were taken aback by the two-paced nature as the ball stopped and came onto the batsmen. Having played out 16 dot balls and also losing two wickets, MI were in a spot of bother but in walked Rohit Sharma.
The MI skipper got struck on the helmet by a skiddy Siddarth Kaul bouncer and that seemed to ruffle him up as he attempted an ugly swipe across the line off the next ball. It was only when Rashid Khan bowled a quickish legbreak outside off in the ninth over that Rohit deftly dabbed it down to third man for four. Soon after, he launched the leggie over his head for a six in a subsequent over. However, the real breakthrough moment came when Rohit took on Moises Henriques and hit him for three fours in a single over to inject some sort of a momentum in the innings.
Sharma celebrated his India recall with his highest score of the IPL this season as he hoicked Bhuvneshwar Kumar over mid-wicket for a six. Eventually, Sharma’s 45-ball 67 gave Mumbai 138 for 7 in 20 overs – a total that looked respectable for the slowness of the wicket.
How Siddarth Kaul’s strikes were timed to perfectionWhen Kaul was introduced into the attack, MI were still coming to terms with the lack of pace in the wicket. Kaul banged it in short – customary pacer’s delivery to loosen up – and the ball didn’t arrive at Nitish Rana as well as he would have liked. His miscued pull went straight up in the air for Kaul to pick up a wicket first ball. Off his next ball, Parthiv Patel cut a poor short ball, straight to Vijay Shankar at point, who dropped a straightforward chance.
However, Parthiv was benevolent to chip it towards long on, off the very first ball of Kaul’s next over to give him his second wicket. With two wickets up front, Kaul put the brakes on early. And just when Rohit Sharma was threatening to take MI past the 150-run mark, Kaul dismissed Rohit in the penultimate over, making almost a difference of 10-15 runs to the eventual score. In an interesting chain of events, all three wickets of Kaul came off the first deliveries off his over.
What sealed the deal for SRHAfter David Warner got out cheaply while opening the innings, Shikhar Dhawan, who much like Rohit Sharma, celebrated his Champions Trophy inclusion with a fine fifty. Chasing a middling total, Dhawan thumped a drive through the cover region for his first boundary of the innings. Having played out the first few overs cautiously while trying to gauge the pace on the wicket, Dhawan picked up the singles with ease to keep the scoreboard moving.
Moises Henriques, who walked in at the fall of Warner, went after Hardik Pandya in one of the overs, taking him for two boundaries and that set the momentum for the run-chase. That got Dhawan going as he picked Karn Sharma for a six and a four in the following over, and Mumbai’s hopes, if any, were dashed there itself. Malinga was brought back for one final burst but he was taken for a couple of boundaries, making the situation look even worse for MI – something they haven’t witnessed much in this season.
The 91-run stand for the second wicket – which included 10 fours and 2 sixes – between the two ensured that more than half the job was done for SRH. SRH’s win took them closer to a place in the playoffs while knocking Delhi Daredevils out of the race.
Where do the teams go from hereSunrisers Hyderabad have one game left and with a win against the Mumbai Indians are better placed in the race to the playoffs. Their final game against a diffident Gujarat Lions gives them a good opportunity to strengthen their chances further.
Mumbai Indians now go home to face off against Kings XI Punjab, a side they defeated by eight wickets and utmost conviction. A win in their next contest could mean they get closer to sealing a top-two finish.
Brief Scores:Mumbai Indians 138/7 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 67; Siddarth Kaul 3-24) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 140/3 in 18.2 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 62*, Moises Henriques 44; Jasprit Bumrah 1-24) by seven wickets.