Dale Steyn and Amit Sharma combined to rout Pune Warriors, bowling them out for 104 as Sunrisers Hyderabad opened their IPL campaign in style with a 22-run victory.
Chasing a lowly 127 for victory, the Pune Warriors India openers, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey, saw off Dale Steyn’s first two overs, scoring only two runs of each. Ishant Sharma matched Steyn’s efforts to give away just one run in his first. Neither of Pandey or Uthappa were able to read the bounce and swing of the two pacers. But the fielding restrictions gave Uthappa the opportunity to take the aerial root, as the first boundary came in the fourth over.
Uthappa and Pandey breathed easy for a while as Steyn was taken out of attack to make way for Thisara Perera. Even with a poor track record in the IPL so far, Perera did well to give just five runs away. Uthappa tne brought up the first six off the Pune innings with a straight shot off a poor delivery from Ishant Sharma. The sixth over fetched the visitors nine runs as they managed 27 in the fielding restrictions.
Uthappa was dismissed caught behind, after scoring two back-to-back boundaries, by Perera to give Sunrisers their first wicket at 36 for one in the seventh over. Perera struck again in his next over as Marlon Samuels, who was clearly struggling from the first delivery, poked at a delivery outside off-stump to give a regulation catch to Cameron White at slips. At 44 for two in over number nine, Yuvraj Singh who walks out in a situation that is quite familiar to him.
Amit Mishra did not allow the comeback man last long. In the 11th over, Yuvraj came down the track to the leggie but failed to read the ball, as Parthiv Patel completed an easy stumping. It could have been further trouble as Manish Pandey survived a run-out chance. With the asking rate going above seven runs an over, Pune were beginning to feel the nerves.
Mishra got another wicket soon after Manish Pandey reached out for a wide delivery to give a simple catch to Cameron White. It was 50 for four and out walked Mumbai’s hero from the recently concluded Ranji Trophy, Abhishek Nayar, to join Ross Taylor.
The duo shared a 33-run partnership before Nayar became Mishra’s third victim of the night. The left-hander Nayar danced down the track to a wrong one and gave a simple catch to Ishant Sharma at mid-off. At 83 for five in the 16th over, Pune knew they were in with a good chance. The asking rate was now in double figures and Sunrisers were feeling the pressure.
After Taylor was bowled by Ashish Reddy to make it 86 for six, Pune was in total control. Mitchell Marsh ran himself out, before Steyn came back and bamboozled the tail to finish things off in style for the Sunrisers.
Steyn finished with figures of three for 11 in his four overs, while Mishra, now the second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL, had three for 19.
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 126 for 6 in 20 overs (Thisara Perera 30; Ashok Dinda 2 for 29, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1 for 17) beat Pune Warriors 104 in 18.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 24; Dale Steyn 3 for 11, Amit Mishra 3 for 19) by 22 runs.