Royal Challengers Bangalore 130 for 8 (Kohli 46, Ishant 3-27) tied with Sunrisers Hyderabad 130 for 7 (Vihari 44*, Henriques 2-14)
Vinay Kumar conceded 20 in the Super Over, after limiting Sunrisers to six in the 20th over of the match
Sunrisers Hyderabad rode on the power of Dale Steyn’s experience to pick up their second consecutive win, this one over Royal Challengers Bangalore, after the game had gone into Twenty20 cricket’s sudden death – the Super Over. Steyn had to defend 20 runs, thanks to Cameron White’s two blazing hits off Vinay Kumar, and came out on top as Royal Challengers fell five runs short.
The teams had fought tooth and nail throughout the forty overs in front of a noisy crowd in Hyderabad. Defending seven, Vinay bowled an impressive 20th over for the second game in a row – conceding only six – but could not repeat the performance in the tiebreaker. He was Virat Kohli’s go-to man after he had defended 10 runs off the last over against Mumbai Indians.
The seesaw battle began with Sunrisers staying on top as they restricted the strong Royal Challengers’ batting line-up to 130 for 8 in 20 overs. What would have happened to the Royal Challengers’ innings without Kohli and Moises Henriques was hard to say. The pair contributed 90 to the total.
After Chris Gayle fell dramatically to part-timer Hanuma Vihari’s first ball in IPL cricket, and Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled by Ishant Sharma, Kohli had to resurrect the innings. Karun Nair helped him a little by adding 20 for the third wicket, before Kohli and Henriques put on 43 for the fourth. Kohli then fell to a return catch by Ashish Reddy in the 14th over; he had struck the only six of the innings in his 44-ball 46.
Henriques’ 44 came off 40 balls with five boundaries, and his innings held it together for Royal Challengers towards the finish. He was the seventh batsman out, at the start of the final over bowled by Ishant, who finished with 3 for 27. It was a performance in contrast to the night Dale Steyn had, having finished with 1 for 37 in four overs.
The Sunrisers’ chase was held together by newcomer Vihari’s unbeaten 44 off 46 balls but he never took the game away from Royal Challengers. He would have expected someone like his captain Kumar Sangakkara to take the lead but the Sri Lankan batsman made just 16. The game boiled down to such a finish because of a 23-run stand for the seventh wicket between Vihari and Ashish Reddy.
When Reddy joined Vihari in the 17th over, Sunrisers needed 30 off 23 balls. Vinay, who had just heroically run out Amit Mishra, was smashed for 14 in the 18th over, with Reddy slamming a straight six and a slog-swept four. Murali Kartik had to keep Royal Challengers in the game and he gave away seven runs in the penultimate over before Vinay forced the tie.
White and Thisara Perera were Sunrisers’ choice for the Super Over, and they outdid Royal Challengers’ Gayle and Kohli.
Punjab begin season with commanding win
Kings XI Punjab 100 for 2 (Vohra 43*) beat Pune Warriors 99 for 9 (Mahmood 2-19) by 8 wickets
Kings XI Punjab’s accurate seam bowling was complemented by an all-round fielding display as they raced to an eight-wicket win over Pune Warriors in Pune. It was the first time Punjab had begun an IPL season with a victory and they took just 12.2 overs to chase the target and hand the home side their second successive loss.
Two run-outs and Gurkeerat Singh’s spectacular catch were the highlights as Kings XI took control of the game from the first over. The four-man seam attack hardly gave the Warriors batsman a chance on a pitch that perhaps misled them into batting first.
Manish Pandey’s hesitant prod started Warriors’ slide and they struggled in the Powerplay overs. T Suman, who replaced the injured Yuvraj Singh, added 20 for the second wicket with Robin Uthappa, but both fell trying to push the run-rate. Suman skied Azhar Mahmood while Uthappa’s charge to the legspinner Piyush Chawla was poorly judged.
Mandeep Singh then ran out Marlon Samuels with a terrific throw running in from the deep midwicket boundary, and Chawla later ran out Rahul Sharma with a direct hit from long-off, off the last ball of the innings.
Parvinder Awana was a force among the quicks. After a good first over he bowled the best ball of the game, which took Angelo Mathews’ outside edge. Warriors were 38 for 5 at the end of the 10th over, and the game had slipped away from them.
Kings XI’s accurate bowling made the difference, but the first-match energy from the fielders left Warriors batsman stranded at either end for long patches. The highlight in the field came in the 14th over, via a jaw-dropping catch. Ross Taylor’s trademark pull towards long leg was intercepted by Gurkeerat, who dived full length to his right and caught the ball after it had passed him and held on to it after crashing to earth.
Had Mitchell Marsh and Abhishek Nayar not added 25 for the seventh wicket, Warriors would have had to defend fewer than the 99 they got in the end.
Kings XI captain Adam Gilchrist took fourteen runs off the first over of the chase. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was hit for two straight fours and a flicked six, but Gilchrist fell soon after to a catch at deep square-leg.
Then it was the turn of little known Manan Vohra to make a spectacle of his IPL debut. The No. 3 batsman smashed four out of five fours in the fourth over bowled by Ashok Dinda. There were nice shots on the offside before the youngster brought out a swivel-pull to finish the over. He then drilled Mathews to the straight boundary to make it five fours in as many balls.
Warriors were poor in the field too. Dinda dropped Mandeep Singh at mid-on before Taylor dropped Vohra at slip. Mandeep and Vohra added 58 for the second wicket with the debutant making 43 off 28 balls.