Mumbai: There is a reason why the Sunrisers Hyderabad are considered the best bowling outfit in the Indian Premier League and that was on display at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday as Kane Williamson’s team choked Mumbai Indians to register a 31-run victory, after setting a below-par target of 119 runs for the hosts.
Mumbai Indians, who have now lost five out of their six matches, made heavy weather of a smallish target as they folded up for just 87 on a Wankhede track where the ball was coming slowly off the wicket. Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson ensured that his team didn’t drop their shoulders even once, despite managing to put only 118 on the board, after Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya picked two wickets apiece to derail the SRH batting. Yusuf Pathan (29) and skipper Williamson (29) were the highest scorers as the ‘Orange Army’ failed to even play out the full quota of 20 overs.
But the team came out after the innings break with an eye on the scoreboard and Sandeep Sharma was the first to strike as he removed Evin Lewis with the perfect length delivery. With the West Indian looking to sit back and wait for the short ball, Sandeep pitched it right up and got the ball to move enough to take the edge of Lewis’s bat and land straight in the hands of Manish Pandey at point.
With Lewis gone for 5, Ishan Kishan came out to join Suryakumar Yadav in the middle. But the man who has been in prime form for MI this season failed to open his account as Mohammed Nabi got him caught by Deepak Hooda in the deep. The score suddenly read 17/2 and it almost looked like Williamson had sniffed blood on the field.
The inability of the home-team batsmen to adapt to the conditions was also a worrying factor as skipper Rohit Sharma looked to play an expansive drive off Shakib Al Hasan, only to be caught in the slips by Shikhar Dhawan. With their tails up, SRH bowlers and fielders looked to go for the kill as Krunal Pandya came out to join Suryakumar.
But the two batsmen showed good maturity as they knocked the ball around and hit timely boundaries to keep the target on the radar. But just when it looked like the 40-run partnership would take the game away from Hyderabad, Williamson introduced his trump card Rashid Khan.
Rashid first trapped Krunal (24) plumb in front, before sending Kieron Pollard back in the hut for just 9. With the score reading 73/5, it was now up to Suryakumar to take the Mumbai outfit home. But he too perished as he tried to flick Basil Thampi over the ropes, only to be caught at the boundary by Rashid Khan. With the Mumbai Indians down to 77/6, it was all about closing the deal for the Hyderabad outfit and they did just that as Siddarth Kaul showed great spirit and mental toughness to finish with figures of 3/23 from his 4 overs to completely bowl MI out of the chase.
His best over was the 18th of the innings when he kept his nerves against Hardik Pandya and didn’t give the all-rounder the room he was looking for and finally got the thick outside edge, for Thampi to finish a clinical catch running in from third man. With Hardik gone for a 19-ball 3, it was all about waiting for the inevitable as far as the Mumbai dug-out was concerned. In the end, the innings folded up in the 19th over as Hyderabad managed to defend the second lowest total in the history of the Indian Premier League.