The Sunrises Hyderabad finally put in a performance worthy of their squad, and the result was a first win in IPL 2016. The Mumbai Indians failed with the bat for the third time in four matches, and the result of that was a third defeat of the season.
With both sides looking for a win to gain some sort of momentum for this season, it was the Sunrisers Hyderabad who came to the party, putting on a near-perfect all-round performance in front of their own fans at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Choosing to field first, the bowlers, led by Barinder Sran (4-0-28-3), restricted MI to just 142/6, with David Warner (90 n.o., 59b, 7x4, 4x6) then anchoring the chase to perfection to see SRH home with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare.
The most obvious thing in cricket at the moment happened at the start of the chase â€“ Shikhar Dhawan getting out early. Once that was gotten out of the way â€“ via a brilliant yorker from Tim Southee â€“ it was all a question of if Warner would be able to see the Sunrisers home.
That question leaned towards yes when the left-hander, knowing just how important his wicket is, played patient cricket, not taking any undue risks and making sure he would be there till the latter part of the chase, even if he was lucky to survive early on when Rohit Sharma dropped a really difficult catch, diving to his right at mid-on.
Warner, with Australian compatriot Moises Henriques, put on a measured 62-run partnership from 9.2 overs to set the base for the 143 runs that were needed to be scored. Once Henriques (20, 22b, 1x4, 1x6) fell to the excellent Tim Southee (4-0-24-3), edging a perfect out-swinger, Warner allied for 34 runs with Eoin Morgan, who was also dismissed by the New Zealander.
When Morgan fell, SRH needed 43 from 34 balls, easy enough as long as Warner was at the crease. The match was far from sealed, however, knowing the brittle nature of this Sunrisers Hyderabad batting lineup, but Deepak Hooda (17 n.o., 9b, 2x4) came in and tonked a few and with Warner staying calm, cool and collected, the home team got to the target with ease, as the captain finished the match off in style, with a big six over square-leg.
Earlier, the Mumbai Indians tweaked their batting around in the hope of changing their fortunes, but the result was again the same, a disappointing performance over the 20 overs. Martin Guptill, in for Kieron Pollard, opened the innings with Parthiv Patel, but fell to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over, with Rohit Sharma coming in at No.4, after Patel was dismissed by the impressive Sran.
Rohit's No.4 plan did not quite work out, as the MI captain ran himself out, with Jos Buttler also falling without making too many runs. At 60/4 in 10.4 overs, the Mumbai Indians were in a real spot of bother, but Ambati Rayudu (54, 49b, 3x4, 2x6), who came in No.3 and Krunal Pandya (49, 28b, 3x4, 3x6), the older brother of Hardik, came together to put on 63 runs together in under seven overs, with a lot of those runs coming in just one over, when Bipul Sharma was taken for four sixes.
That gave the MI innings a bit of momentum, and it looked like they just might be able to get to that 160-mark, but SRH, courtesy Mustafizur Rahman (4-0-32-1), Sran and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-17-1) pulled things back brilliantly, conceding just 31 runs in the final five overs to give their chaseable score.