David Warner got out early, the Sunrisers Hyderabad crumbled and the Kolkata Knight Riders picked up an easy win in IPL 2015.
Such is the dependence on Warner for SRH that when their skipper fails with the bat, and you add Shikhar Dhawan into the mix as well, it is curtains for the team from Hyderabad as a batting side, be that chasing or putting up a total.
In this case at the Eden Gardens, it was a chase, a makeable, albeit difficult, one of 168 after KKR finished on 167/7 in their 20 overs.
On a slow pitch that was made for the slower bowlers, you would have thought it would be the three KKR spinners – Brad Hogg, Johan Botha and Piyush Chawla – who would do the damage, but it was Umesh Yadav who landed the biggest and most telling blow of them all.
Yadav, after getting pumped through midwicket for a trademark Warner boundary in the second ball of the first over, got that next ball to seam just a touch away from Warner, who played inside the line and heard the death rattle. In the same over, it only got worse for SRH, as Naman Ojha was also castled by the KKR paceman, making an already difficult task even more formidable.
Dhawan (15, 15b, 3x4) had to play a really good knock if SRH were even going to get close, but the left-hander struck a rank long-hop from Hogg straight down the throat of Manish Pandey at square-leg and just like that it was that all-too familiar Sunrisers collapse, with the away team eventually finishing on 132/9.
The only batsmen who even remotely put up a fight were Moises Henriques (41, 33b, 2x4, 2x6) and Karn Sharma (32, 21b, 3x6), who hit three straight sixes off Botha, with Eoin Morgan, Hanuma Vihari and Bipul Sharma tumbling rather quickly, and with it giving KKR the easiest of 35-run victories.
Earlier, the Knight Riders somehow got themselves to 167, courtesy 30s from Gautam Gambhir (30, 27b, 3x4), Robin Uthappa (31, 23b, 5x4), Manish Pandey (33, 26b, 1x4, 2x6) and Yusuf Pathan (30, 19b, 4x4).
Gambhir and Uthappa got off to a roaring start in the first six overs, racing to 55/0 to give the rest of the batsmen the perfect platform. Gambhir fell looking for a big shot off the leg-spinner Karn Sharma, and it was the SRH slower bowlers – Karn (4-0-29-2) and Bipul (4-0-23-1) -- who put the skids on.
Their spell ensured KKR would not run away with the game, and even if Yusuf hit a few boundaries towards the end to take the score near 170, it was still gettable as long as SRH got off to a good start.
But Yadav put paid to those hopes with a terrific first over, and easy as pie KKR moved up to third in the points table.