By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Hyderabad: Apr 7, 2013
The Indian Premier League (IPL), 2013 witnessed its first tie as the Sunrisers Hyderabad leveled with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was a low-scoring game as the Hyderabad bowlers did well to restrict Bangalore to 130 and then their batsmen had a few problems during the run chase, trickling into a dramatic final over.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a good looking wicket at Hyderabad. From their game against Mumbai, Bangalore made one change as Moises Henriques replaced Daniel Christian. Hyderabad brought in left-arm spinner Ankit Sharma in place of Dwaraka Ravi Teja.
There was an anti-climax early in the game as the big hitting Chris Gayle was dismissed on the first ball off the second over. It was an inspiration move by Kumar Sangakkara as he handed the ball to the rookie Hanuma Vihari. The off-spinner had a dream start by scalping the big fish off the first delivery he bowled.
Gayle’s early dismissal was always going to be a huge setback and Bangalore kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Kohli anchored the batting for majority of the innings and looked in good form. He essayed a few classy stroked during the innings, with two off Ishant standing out. He pulled the fast-bowler with disdain in the powerplay and then smashed him for a massive six over long-off in the 13th over.
Just when it looked like Kohli was ready to take charge, he was dismissed by Ashish Reddy — who took a magnificent catch off his own bowling. Thereafter, Moises Henriques was the one who kept Bangalore in the hunt and found a few boundaries in the slog overs. However, there was no real assault and Bangalore could only muster 130 for eight.
Hyderabad had bowled very well to keep Bangalore to 130, although they had dropped a few chances in the field. They had defended a low total in their first game and now it was their turn to chase it.
Parthiv Patel and Akshath Reddy walked out to commence the run-chase. Patel didn’t last long as Henriques had him caught behind in the second over of the game. The southpaw was given a life in the first over as Gayle couldn’t hold on to a tough chance at widish slip.
In a move that signalled intent, Bangalore sent the aggressive Cameron White ahead of Sangakkara at number three. That did not work as White also fell to Henriques dismissed him for five in the fourth over with Hyderabad on 20.
Akshath Reddy and Vihari, the two youngsters then went about the task of rebuilding the innings. They didn’t take too many risks and concentrated on rotating the strike. The legendary Muttiah Muralitharan broke that stand as he disturbed Akshath Reddy’s woodwork in the ninth over. It was a blessing in disguise as the partnership was too slow.
Sangakkara finally walked out to the centre with the pressure on him. At the halfway mark, Hyderabad were 56 for three, with 75 to get in the last ten overs. In the first eleven overs, Hyderabad had hit only three boundaries and the asking rate was rising. That drought came to an end as Sangakkara welcomed his Sri Lankan teammate Tillakaratne Dilshan with a four through mid-wicket.
There was more urgency thereafter as even Vihari managed a boundary by sweeping Muralitharan in the 13th over. The batsmen were looking for more singles and were pushing the fielders. Vihari even survived a run-out scare and was lucky because the bails weren’t dislodged completely as he made his ground.
Bangalore were in control, but sniffed a great chance when Jaydev Unadkat had Sangakkara caught behind off a beautiful delivery. Hyderabad were now four down with 50 to get in 38 balls.
Thisara Perera, the start of Hyderabad’s first game entered the stage and had to replicate his previous performance. Initially, he was calm and rotated the strike. However, in the 16th over, he smashed a bullet through long-on off Unadkat for four and it looked like he would take his side home.
Unadkat bounced back on the very next ball as he bowled it a touch slower and deceived Perera. The Sri Lankan manager tried to hit his way out, but was caught at deep mid-wicket. The game was very much in the balance, although the asking rate wasn’t very high. Hyderabad had lost half their side, including all their main batsmen.
Bangalore fielded with a lot of heart and it was evident when R Vinay Kumar saved an almost certain boundary and then threw the ball to the keeper to find Amit Mishra short of the crease. Things were going awry for Hyderabad.
With 28 needed of 18 balls, all eyes were on Vihari. He couldn’t find the big hits, but his partner Ashish Reddy managed to hit Hyderabad’s first six when he carted Vinay Kumar over long. Vihari was inspired and he smashed the last ball of the 18th over through mid-wicket for a four.
The nerves had eased for Hyderabad. That over shifted the momentum in their favour, but it wasn’t short of any drama.
With seven to defend in the last over, Kohli introduced Vinay Kumar — who had bowled a magnificent final over against Mumbai Indians to snatch the game for Bangalore. Ashish Reddy lobbed an easy catch to cover off a full-toss and the pressure intensified.
Dale Steyn walked out and hit his first ball for two runs. He then missed the second and took a single off the third. Vihari took strike as Hyderabad needed four from the last two deliveries. Vinay Kumar bowled it in the blockhole, but Vihari still managed to pick two.
Everybody were on the edge of their seats with two needed off the last ball. Vihari missed and the batsmen ran through for a bye. The match moved into the super over.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 130 for 8 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 46, Moises Henriques 44; Ishant Sharma 3 for 27, Amit Mishra 1 for 15) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad 130 for 7 in 20 overs (Hanuma Vihari 44*, Akshath Reddy 23; Moises Henriques 2 for 14, Jaydev Unadkat 2 for 24) Sunrisers Hyderabad won through Super Over.
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