Powered by some monstrous sixes from Thisara Perera (40) and Cameron White (52) in the death overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad reached a competitive 161 for six against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Sunrisers had gotten off to a modest start and were scoring 30-odd runs and losing a wicket every five overs, reaching 84 for three in 14 overs. This is when something sparked in Perera and White, who embarked on a rampage in the death overs, scoring 77 runs off the last six overs. Playing their first away game of IPL 6, at one point, it seemed as if the Hyderabad pair was targeting their home ground with their plonks.
The Royal Challengers would have been pleased with their start, restricting the Sunrisers to 62 for two in the first 10 overs. Hyderabad’s top three batsmen failed to convert their starts and were three-down in the 11th over with captain Kumar Sangakkara (23) back in the pavilion. This was when Perera joined White at the crease.
The duo carefully negotiated the final overs of Muttiah Muralitharan and Murali Kartik, before Perera shifted gears in the 15th over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat, hitting a four and a six. Any ball shorter of full length from here on was whacked for maximum as White and Perera displayed their tennis and golfing skills.
It took an attempted paddle down fine-leg off RP Singh’s bowling for Perera to fall as he misjudged the line and lost his stumps. Hyderabad were 144 for eight in 18 overs at this stage. In the next over, bowled by Vinay Kumar, White reached his fifty with an exquisite cover-drive maximum after going down on one knee. After two failures with the bat in the preceding matches, White had powered the Sunrisers to 20 runs in the Super Over in the last match, and it seemed to have provided the much needed impetus in his confidence. However, White was dismissed in the same over after finding AB de Villiers‘s safe hands at cover off the last ball.
Hyderbad were 155 for five in 19 overs at White’s fall and could manage only six runs off as many balls to score 161 for six. Batting was the one blip in their performance in this season, and this was their highest total in the tournament so far. It would have been a content team going into the break.
Meanwhile, the Royal Challengers could do with some Gayle-power in their chase. With de Villiers also returning to the squad after being engaged in the Ram Slam T20 in South Africa, RCB wouldn’t be too deflated after White and Perera’s mauling.
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 161 for 6 (Cameron White 52, Thisara Perera 40; RP Singh 3 for 27) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore.