The 46th match of the 2014 Indian Premier League between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, on May 20 was crucial for both the teams since both of them had a chance of getting into the last 4, which would mean they stand a chance of playing in the Champions League T20.
Team composition: Hyderabad made a couple of changes to the team from their previous game against Kolkata, which they lost. They brought in Venugopal Rao and Parvez Rasool for Lokesh Rahul and Amit Mishra. Bangalore went in with the same team from its last match.
Batting: The Royal Challengers won the toss and opted to bat first. They got to a competitive total of 160 for 6, thanks largely to skipper Virat Kohli, who rediscovered his touch with a 67 from 41 balls. AB de Villiers (29 from 17 balls) and Yuvraj Singh (21 from 25 balls) played some crucial innings in the middle to try and boost the team’s total.
The Sunrisers chased down the apparently stiff target with consummate ease, thanks to a brilliant opening stand of 100 between Shikhar Dhawan (50 from 39 balls), who like Kohli found his mojo back, and David Warner (59 from 46 balls), who continued with his fantastic run after receiving his usual spot back.
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, once again, did the star turn for SRH, with 2 for 27 in 4 overs. Rasool, in his first game, impressed with a spell of 1 for 26 in 4 overs. Karn Sharma (1 for 27 in 3 overs) and Irfan Pathan (1 for 28 on 3 overs) were expensive but picked up wickets nonetheless.
Speedster Varun Aaron (2 for 36) was the only bowler to pick up wickets but he gave away a fair amount of runs. This was a problem that plagued all the other bowlers – Mitchell Starc (none for 31 in 3.4 overs), Abu Nechim Ahmed (22 runs in 2.2 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal (none for 32 in 4 overs) – as well. Muttiah Muralitharan (none for 26) and Yuvraj Singh (none for 10 in 1.4 overs) were the only exceptions.
Where do the teams go from here?
Darren Sammy, it seems, has had a galvanising effect on the team, and given his international captaincy experience in this domain the Sunrisers Hyderabad management would be thinking that why they did not give him the role earlier. The team has found its bearings now. Perhaps they would be entertaining the thoughts of a top 4 finish, which looks hard but not out of their reach. As of now they need to keep performing like this on a consistent basis and be ready to take their place should one of the Big 4 collapse.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore can also qualify for the playoffs but they perhaps need to make a couple of changes in the side. They could consider bringing in Ravi Rampaul instead of Mitchell Starc and see how he performs. Perhaps Tanmay Mishra could also be given a chance or two instead of Sachin Rana.