In a low-scoring thriller at Visakhapatnam, Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Rising Pune Supergiants by 4 runs. After setting a target of 138, the visitors restricted the home side, who were in control of the chase for most part, to 133-8. SRH’s effort – the lowest total defended in VIVO IPL 2016 – took them to the top of the table and shut the door on RPS’ aspirations of making it to the Playoffs.
SRH never came to grips with the conditions and almost all batsmen perished attempting to play their strokes when they should have altered their approach to working their way to a decent total. After David Warner edged a full length delivery from RP Singh to the wicketkeeper in the fourth over, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson took their time to resurrect the innings. SRH’s second wicket pair added 46 runs over a period of seven overs; while Williamson struggled for timing and for most played within himself, Dhawan mixed caution with aggression. The left-hander perished in the eleventh over, when he attempted to hit Ravichandran Ashwin over the top but only holed out to long on. Dhawan’s 33 – made from 27 balls – would be the top score of the SRH innings.
Yuvraj Singh (23 from 21 balls) entertained briefly, hitting two sixes and a four, before he became the first of Adam Zampa’s six victims. The leg-spinner saw the left-hander advancing and threw his googly just a tad wider, and Yuvraj’s mishit landed in the hands of long-off. In his next over, the leg-spinner dismissed Williamson – who had crawled to 32 from 37 balls, and Moises Henriques off successive deliveries. Sunrisers Hyderabad finished their twenty overs at 137-8 – possibly 20 runs short of what was assessed as par score. David Warner’s side had scored 34-1, 62-1 and 41-6 in the three stages of the innings.
In pursuit of 138, RPS lost their man-in-form Ajinkya Rahane without a run on the board and Usman Khawaja in the fourth over. MS Dhoni pulled a rabbit out of the hat when he sent R Ashwin to bat at number four. The off-spinner, in the company of George Bailey, resurrected the innings with a 49-run partnership.
With Dhoni and the big-hitting Thisara Perera still in the middle, the chase was far from over. But Mustafizur Rahman and Ashish Nehra bowled two terrific overs – the 19th and 20th overs of the innings – to deny the home side. With 22 runs to bowl at, Mustafizur conceded eight runs in the 19th, giving Nehra the cushion of 14 runs. The experienced Nehra then nipped out Perera third ball, after which Yuvraj Singh was alert to the possibility of running out MS Dhoni of the fifth ball. Nehra found the edge of Adam Zampa off the last ball, and RPS were restricted to 133-8.