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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Cricket

Kings throttled as Sun rises at Uppal
Kaushik Chatterji, Hindustan Times
Hyderabad, April 19, 2013
First Published: 20:30 IST(19/4/2013)
Last Updated: 18:24 IST(20/4/2013)

Starting off as a leg-break bowler from Victoria who could do a bit of pinch hitting, a comparison with Shane Warne was inevitable. That, of course, proved to be premature - ultimately, Cameron White became a hard-hitting batsman who could roll his arm over if need be.

As it turned out, he also had leadership qualities. So with him having led his home state as well as the Australian T20 side and Kumar Sangakkara struggling for form, White was the best bet to take over the reins of the Sunrisers. Two matches into his latest tenure, White is yet to bowl. But Friday's match between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab at Uppal still saw more than its share of leg-spinners.

One on either side - each with proven credentials, but one perennially (and, frankly, quite inexplicably) out of favour with India's national selectors - expectedly indulged in a game of one-upmanship.

But there was a third, also from the Hindi heartland, someone who debuted in this league in South Africa, for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the erstwhile version of his current team. Sunrisers' Karan Sharma removed Adam Gilchrist just when he was starting to look dangerous. But it was two deliveries later when Piyush Chawla walked in at the fall of Paul Valthaty that the fight became triangular.

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SCHOOL'S OUT

Thanks to Chawla, Karan's next over proved to be his last - a slog sweep into the stands and a six straight over the sight screen off the first two balls did the trick. But Amit Mishra was a much tougher cookie for Chawla to handle.

A boundary straight over the umpire's head was followed by a huge googly that made the batsman look downright silly. After Chawla was gone, it was left to Mishra to showcase his skills. He had messed up a couple of times in the field.

With the ball, though, he had lots left to offer. And he saved the best for the last, ending with a team hat-trick that knocked the stuffing out of Punjab's innings.

SLOW AND LOW

The visitors eventually scraped to 123, not bad when one takes into account the opposition and its home ground. The pitches at Uppal this season have been sluggish to say the least, something whose benefits the Sunrisers have reaped no end. On Friday, though, it almost backfired — forced to bat second after losing the toss, the pitch started to come undone towards the end. Luckily for the hosts, Perera came to the party, three sixes in the penultimate over sealing the deal.


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