Sunrisers Hyderabad Skipper David Warner led from the front and blasted a 27-ball 57 to help his side to post an emphatic an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eight season of Indian Premier League. The aggressive Warner and fellow-opener Shikhar Dhawan (50 not out) put on 82 runs in 7.2 overs as Sunrisers easily chased RCB’s total of 166 all out, posting 172 for two in 17.2 overs. Dhawan played a mature innings as he along with Lokesh Rahul (44) added 78 runs for the unfinished third wicket to carry Sunrisers over the finish line in style.
Warner thus justified his move to field on winning the toss on a damp night following heavy rains in the evening. Fortunately, the rains stayed away, but the large partisan crowd was left disappointed by RCB’s inept performance.
Warner’s power-packed innings took much the pressure off the chase as the visitors took control while Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers turned increasingly disheartened as Sunrisers made light of the target.
The closest that RCB came to checking the chase was when leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal removed Warner, who was trapped leg-before and Kane Williamson (5), stumped by Dinesh Karthik, but Dhawan dropped anchor to guide Sunrisers home in style.
Earlier, RCB promised a lot but delivered little as their frontline batsmen, openers Chris Gayle (21) and Kohli (41), and AB de Villiers (46) failed to build on good starts. Once the Sunrisers got rid of Gayle who chanced his arms once too often, it was a gradual downhill ride for the home team although Kohli and de Villiers raised visions of a big total.
Sunrisers kept their nerve to strike telling blows at vital moments with Boult claiming three wickets in the 19th over and fellow-seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking two in the 20th to peg RCB after Ravi Bopara, the former England star, had removed Kohli and Mandeep Singh off consecutive deliveries, in the 12th over.
RCB never quite recovered from these body blows to crash to their first defeat in two outings while the Sunrisers, who played better cricket, emerged deserving winners.