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Devastating Dinda knocks Hyderabad over

Wisden India logo Wisden India 26-04-2016

Ashok Dinda came into Rising Pune Supergiants’ playing XI for their crucial game against Sunrisers Hyderabad with neither form nor reputation by his side.

He had just one wicket from his last six Twenty20 matches, all for Bengal during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and nearly went unsold in the IPL player auctions of 2016 before Pune bought him in the final round. He also has a history of being in teams that have always ended near or around the bottom of the table in almost all the previous IPL editions.

Dinda, however, put all that behind him on Tuesday (April 26) and came up with a super spell of 3 for 23 that sank Hyderabad, who were on a roll with three consecutive wins, and gave Pune, who had lost four consecutive games, a much-needed 34-run win via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Dinda’s spell, with ample support from the other bowlers, kept Hyderabad to 118 for 8 from their 20 overs despite an unbeaten 56 by Shikhar Dhawan. Only three Hyderabad batsmen got to double-digits, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the second-highest scorer with 21 runs. The target was never going to trouble Pune, who were comfortably ahead of the D/L par score when rain arrived at the end of the 11th over, with the visiting team on 94 for 3 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Tuesday (April 26).

There were multiple performers for Pune but the biggest hero of the night was Dinda, who was aided by the one-hour rain delay after the toss, where Pune opted to field. With conditions slightly overcast and the pitch retaining some moisture, Pune’s pacers got the ball to swing and bounce, leaving the Hyderabad top order clueless.

The tone was set in the very first over, where Dinda bowled a wicket-maiden that accounted for the most important of all Hyderabad batsmen – David Warner – for a duck. Ironically, it was perhaps the worst ball Dinda bowled in his spell – a short and wide one that Warner slapped straight to point. Dinda then went on to get Aditya Tare in his next over and later returned to break a 47-run stand between Dhawan and Naman Ojha with the latter’s wicket. Dinda’s figures could have been a lot better if not for his final over where he conceded 13 runs.

Warner’s exit was a blow from which Hyderabad never recovered. In their three wins in the tournament, Warner had scores of 59, 74* and 90*, and the early dismissal meant a massive test for the rest of the batsmen. They failed.

What followed Warner’s dismissal was a procession. Mitchell Marsh had Eoin Morgan and Moises Henriques edging behind, and Deepak Hooda too fell looking for an ambitious reverse-sweep off R Ashwin’s first ball.

Hyderabad were reeling at 32 for 5 in the ninth over and were in danger of succumbing for an embarrassing score before Ojha and Dhawan put their heads down for a steady stand. There was even a period where Hyderabad didn’t score a boundary for eight overs and the first six of the innings came only in the 16th over.

Dhawan, however, remained calm through all the carnage and held one end, going past his second half-century of the tournament. A few mighty blows by Bhuvneshwar towards the end took Hyderabad close to 120 – decent but not enough.

Pune’s chase started in the exact same note as Hyderabad’s innings, with Ajinkya Rahane cutting Bhuvneshwar to point and falling for a duck in a wicket-maiden first over. The similarities, however, ended there as Faf du Plessis and Steven Smith took over.

The biggest threat for Pune was Mustafizur Rahman. Warner brought him in the third over but Smith countered unorthodoxy with unorthodoxy, moving across and whipping him for boundaries through the on side.

Du Plessis fell for 30 but Smith stayed undefeated on 46 off 36 balls to seal a comfortable win for Pune.

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