Sunrisers Hyderabad 193 for 6 (Tripathi 76, Garg 42, Pooran 38, Ramandeep 3-20) beat Mumbai Indians 190 for 7 (Rohit 48, David 46, Kishan 43, Malik 3-23) by 3 runs
A refreshing change at the top
Asked to bat first, Sunrisers came out with a new opening pair. Even though they lost Abhishek Sharma early, Tripathi and Garg counterattacked towards the end of the powerplay. It looked like a dry pitch, but the duo hit hard enough for even slight mis-hits to clear the small Wankhede boundaries. That said, they nailed their hitting almost all the time.
It started with Tripathi taking on Jasprit Bumrah in the fifth over, hitting him for six, four and four, before Garg put a short ball from Daniel Sams on to the top tier of the stands at deep square-leg. Often teams maximise the powerplay and slow down as the field spreads, but these two kept going. Garg took the lead against the spinners, hitting a six off left-armer Sanjay Yadav before taking two fours in one Mayank Markande over. When Garg fell for 42 off 26 in the tenth over, he had made sure Sunrisers had their highest ten-over score this IPL: 97.
The wicket didn’t slow down Tripathi at all, and Pooran walked in as if coming from a net and used to the pace of the pitch. The second ball he faced, Pooran glanced Bumrah for four. He then lofted Riley Meredith for a six over long-off and then swept him for another over square leg. Tripathi wasn’t to be left behind, taking three fours off the 16th over, bowled by Sams.
At 164 in 16 overs, with eight wickets in hand and two set batters looking dangerous, Sunrisers looked set for a massive total. However, in the next two overs, every big shot they tried resulted in a wicket. Sams was too full for a flick from Pooran, and Ramandeep Singh too short for slogs from Tripathi and Aiden Markram. These wickets hurt Sunrisers as only two boundaries and 29 runs came off the last four overs.
With Suryakumar Yadav out injured, Mumbai’s top order had some heavy lifting to do. They managed to mix aggression and pragmatism in the early exchanges, pouncing on their opportunities without taking wild risks. Rohit Sharma showed more intent, Ishan Kishan was more effective. But from 45 for no loss in five overs, they sort of slowed down to 61 in eight overs.
Umran Malik. Pace like fire
When Malik began the ninth over, familiar questions over his control started cropping up. However, even after three extra deliveries and 14 runs in his first over, Malik had clearly unsettled the batters. Rohit was hit flush in the helmet, which went for four leg-byes. Kishan was hit on the bat even before he could get into position to pull, the top-edge going for a six.
However, it was Washington Sundar, who brought the first breakthrough. It was a match-up that has worked for Washington in the past. Before this match, he had bowled 19 balls to Rohit for 17 runs and two wickets. So Sunrisers were not shy of bowling him at Rohit. Eventually, he saw Rohit give him the charge, shortened the length, and had him caught at deep midwicket.
The door ajar, Malik burst through. He made life difficult for Kishan, Tilak Verma and pinch-hitter Sams. Each of them was late on the ball, unable to come to terms with the pace and the bounce. Malik was now only three wickets behind the table-topper, but more tellingly, had conceded most not-in-control runs this IPL, drawing, on an average, a staggering ten false responses in each four-over spell. Malik’s burst left Mumbai needing 67 off the last five.
David causes a flutter
In the closing stages of the match, Sunrisers preferred T Natarajan, who is having a nightmare tournament, to the inexperienced Malik. Natarajan frequently missed his yorker, bowling low full tosses that David hit for two fours and four sixes, including a 114-metre monster. Now they needed just 19 off 13. Off the last ball of the 18th over, David wanted a single off a deflection from Natarajan but didn’t see that the ball had hardly gone anywhere. He left himself no chance of making it, and the non-striker Sanjay Yadav was too stunned to hold his ground to keep the near end safe and sacrifice himself once David had made it to that end.
The Bhuvneshwar show
Bhuvneshwar has been overshadowed of late by pacier, younger bowlers, but he has hardly missed a step himself. This 19th was a perfect example. He nailed the yorker again and again, mixing it up with a slower short ball that got Sanjay out. The wicket-maiden left Ramandeep too much to do in the final over, which Fazalhaq Farooqi closed out effectively.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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