You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Dhawan, bowlers keep Hyderabad’s campaign on track

Wisden India logo Wisden India 08-05-2017 Wisden India staff

© Getty Rohit Sharma can afford to experiment at this stage of the Indian Premier League 10 and the Mumbai Indians skipper did so by batting first after winning a good toss at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal on Monday (May 8).

Unfortunately for him, the ploy to put his batting unit though a target-setting exercise fell flat, while Sunrisers Hyderabad capitalised for a seven-wicket win.

Batting first for the fourth time in 12 games, Mumbai crashed to 138 for 7 from 20 overs despite a fine 67 from Rohit. In response, Hyderabad had a couple of hiccups along the way, before Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 62 from 46 balls steered a successful chase with 10 balls to spare.

Despite their third loss in the tournament, Mumbai remained on top of the table with 18 points. Hyderabad didn’t advance from the fourth spot, but they have significantly improved their chances of finishing second by ending this game with 15 points from 13 games.

Full Scorecard

Hyderabad may not have had such an easy outing against the league’s best team this season had their opponents not devised a way to make it harder for themselves looking for practice ahead of the playoffs.

Besides, the home side had complicated matters by replacing Kane Williamson with Mohammad Nabi. The other changes had Ashish Nehra (injured) making way for Mohammad Siraj and Vijay Shankar in for Bipul Sharma, but none turned out to be as decisive as the Williamson-Nabi swap.

There was some clamour when the announcement was made, but in a little over half an hour after the toss, Nabi showed why David Warner, the Hyderabad skipper, had insisted on his inclusion.

Nabi, one of two Afghanistan players in the side, was brought on in the second over and he struck with the scalp of Lendl Simmons. Given Simmons’s blistering 66, which singlehandedly won Mumbai their previous game against Delhi Daredevils, that wicket turned out to be crucial.

Nabi sent down three more overs and ended his quota conceding a mere 13 runs with a wicket for his efforts.

The offspinner, however, played a part in at least a couple of more wickets.

His second over, which saw just two runs given away, forced Nitish Rana to go after Siddarth Kaul, only to become the paceman’s first wicket. Nabi’s third over resulted in seven runs – his most expensive of the day – but the pressure he built with his tight line and length meant the batsmen couldn’t do much without taking a serious risk. Even Parthiv Patel, with all his experience, could only muster a boundary during Nabi’s spell. Which is why, soon after Nabi’s penultimate over, Parthiv went after Kaul and offered him his second wicket.

Complete coverage: IPL 2017

Kaul (3 for 24) bowled to the field without working out of his comfort zone and his use of the knuckle ball was particularly impressive.

Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma were together in facing Nabi’s final over. Once they saw him off, they had to take on the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kaul and Rashid Khan (1 for 22).

It isn’t fun being a batsman when there’s nothing on offer. In fact, the most expensive over in Mumbai’s innings came courtesy Moises Henriques, who conceded 15 runs in the 14th over. Mumbai would’ve normally built on such momentum, but this time it wasn’t to be.

Hardik was put out of his misery by Rashid and Kaul ended Rohit’s not long after. To make it worse for Mumbai, the hope of a late resistance was put to end by Bhuvneshwar (2 for 29), who picked up two wickets for six runs in the final over.

Having kept Mumbai down to their lowest total this season, Hyderabad would’ve fancied a swift finish – a spike in the net run-rate at this stage of the tournament is always welcome.

Warner set his sights on that by going hard at Mumbai’s bowlers before being snapped up by Mitchell McClenaghan. Warner was unlucky as the ball clipped the bat before hitting the pads and he was given out leg before.

In a way, it was good for Hyderabad because Dhawan and Henriques got to spend quality time at the crease. The duo added 91 runs for the second wicket at nearly nine runs an over without taking the risks associated with such a run chase.

Henriques’s dismissal with 41 runs left in the chase and Yuvraj Singh’s subsequent departure for 9 – the allrounder struggled with an injured hand – put Hyderabad under some pressure.

Dhawan and Vijay Shankar (15 not out), however, kept calm and carried on.

Hottest Sports Couples

Hottest sports couples

More from Wisden India

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon