Yuvraj-inspired SRH trumps RCB in IPL opener

Defending champion Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to a winning start in the Indian Premier League (IPL), beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 35 runs in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after reaching his half-century against RCB in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   -  AFP

 

Defending champion Sunrisers Hyderabad served a warning note with their aggressive display in the IPL season opener, notching up a 35-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.

This was possible, thanks to the brilliance of Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh with the bat and then the bowlers expectedly coming up with another impressive, disciplined performance.

Though Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav showed their big hitting ability, their stay was too brief to make an impact on the big chase.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Afghan recruit Rashid Khan was impressive picking two wickets – his first in IPL was when he cleaned up Mandeep with a quicker one and then forced Travis Head to hole out to the deep fielder.

READ: Yuvraj: ‘I’m batting with more freedom’

When Jadhav was run out, thanks to a brilliant throw from fine-leg by Ben Cutting, the writing was on the wall. In the death overs, pacers Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar offered very little breathing space to the batsmen.

SLIDESHOW: Day 1 in pictures

It was a complete all-round performance by the home team which ensured a winning start to this edition.

Earlier, Henriques and Shikhar Dhawan put on 74-run stand for second wicket off 53 balls featuring some lusty blows after the dangerous looking captain David Warner departed cheaply in the second over of the innings.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: YUVRAJ

Dhawan stepped up the pace after a slow start, hitting RCB captain Shane Watson for four fours in one over. Later, the big breakthrough came from the gentle, deceptive pace of Stuart Binny when Dhawan could not clear the fielder at long-on in the 11th over.

Soon, it was Yuvraj Singh show as the flamboyant batsman unleashed a flurry of strokes with effortless ease. It was like a walk in the park under the lights for the star cricketer, after being dropped by Aravind at deep square-leg when he pulled Choudhary straight to the fielder.

The 58-run stand for the third wicket off 29 balls between Henriques and Yuvraj before the former was induced to hit straight to long-off by leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who was the best bowler for RCB, propped the total.

Later, Yuvraj was done in by the pace of another left-arm fast bowler Tymal Mills after pulling him nonchalantly for a six.

Then, Ben Cutting lent the cutting edge carting Watson for two huge sixes to help the team cross the 200-mark.

On an evening when fielding was sloppy, the gravity-defying attempt by Mandeep Singh to hold on to a big hit from Yuvraj Singh (on 39) off Chahal at deep square-leg was outstanding.