This match didn’t quite go along expected lines. There was no marauding from David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. Yuvraj Singh was sedate. Last match’s hero Mayank Agarwal could only score one and out of nowhere Trent Boult was dropped in favour of Dale Steyn who worked wonders.
Batsman JP Duminy was effective but more entertaining was the bowler. And the catches just keep getting better and bolder. Warner showed he could have been just as good under the rings or parallel bars as he timed his jump with Swiss precision to pluck Yuvraj Singh out of thin air with the boundary inches behind him.
Duminy then showed he had more tricks up his sleeve as he dived forward to take a fantastic catch that dismissed an increasingly dangerous-looking Naman Ojha. Ashish Reddy and Karn Sharma almost turned out saviours till Reddy was run out ball watching. Final act though was scripted by Agarwal.
With seven runs required from two deliveries, it looked like Karn had sealed it for Hyderabad when he sliced Nathan Coulter-Nile over deep cover. Standing on the boundary, Agarwal kept calm and leapt to push the ball back like a goalkeeper. That did it. Agarwal showed a match could be won purely by good fielding. “Moments like these actually win you tournaments,” said Duminy after the match.
Till that moment, the match see-sawed between both sides. Shreyash Iyer’s 78-run second-wicket partnership with Duminy took the team to safer shores in quick time after Agarwal’s departure. And even his dismissal was perfect timing for Yuvraj to singe the bowling but the latter generally struggled on the sluggish pitch. Steyn breathed fire and got rid of Duminy just when Daredevils looked good for at least 180. Next over Yuvraj departed to the brilliance of Warner. It deflated the momentum but the Daredevils still managed a decent score.
That bounce could be used quite effectively against Indians was shown by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the first over of the chase as he almost knocked the wind out of Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Dhawan with a delivery that was later shown as clocking 145km/hr. Still the start wasn’t bad. But dismissals of both Warner and Dhawan to Duminy’s slow spin suddenly had Hyderabad starting from scratch.
Ravi Bopara showed enterprise to hold the innings together but Hyderabad suffered from lack of a solid partnership in the middle order. There were telling blows from KL Rahul and Naman Ojha but someone between them should have stayed till the end. It was never a match for Reddy or Sharma to win with the bat. But a thrilling match it was.