In a jam-packed stadium, right after a spectacular opening ceremony, the Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and elected to field, putting the Sunrisers Hyderabad in to Bat on a flat deck and a fast outfield. By theory, it would have normally been straight-forward on this wicket – win the toss, bat first, score briskly and set up a huge target and then try and put the opposition under pressure. Gone are the days of this traditional approach. The game’s changing way too quickly and decisions like this hardly surprise you these days. Coming back to the game, Warner and Dhawan, arguably the most formidable opening pair of the tournament till Kohli makes a comeback, walked in and Warner made his intentions pretty clear. Warner was off with a boundary off Mills and a four and a six off Choudhary and just when it seemed like Warner would leave the horrendous tour of India behind, he got out caught at point, when he gently punched one, trying to find the gap. Henriques joined Dhawan in the middle and looked pretty comfortable. The duo took the score to 42 off the first 5 overs.
Shane Watson, the RCB’s stand-in Captain, brought himself into the attack in the sixth over of the innings, the last of the power play, and he must have regretted bringing him in as Shikhar Dhawan, who had started off cautiously, treated him with impudence, hitting four boundaries of the first five balls, and getting a single of the last. At that point, SRH were motoring along at almost ten an over, scoring 59 off the power play overs, looking in total control to get past 144, the average first innings total on this ground. The two scampered the score to 93 before Dhawan holed one to long on and got out on a well-crafted 40 off 31. Yuvraj Singh walked in, like a Prince, to a loud cheer from the home crowd, and batted like a King, leaving everyone spellbound. Along with Henriques, who struck wonderfully too, Yuvraj drilled boundaries and batted brilliantly to bring the 150 in the 15th Over. Trying to accelerate further, Henriques was caught at long-off by Sachin Baby off the leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been delivering great performances for RCB. Henriques made a handy 52 off 37.
Deepak Hooda, the aggressive right-hander, joined Yuvraj in the middle and continued the hammering, even as Yuvraj reached his fifty off 23 balls, his fastest IPL fifty. Yuvraj later hit Mills for a four and a six off consecutive balls, before getting out bowled on the next ball. He eventually made 62 off 27.
For RCB, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers, conceding just 22 off 4 overs, getting Henriques’s wicket. Mills too bowled wonderfully, conceding just 31 off his 4, getting Yuvraj’s prized wicket. The rest of the bowlers, though were ripped apart and taken for a ride all around the park, as SRH made a humongous 207/4 off 20 Overs, the highest score on this ground. It’s going to be a difficult chase for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, especially considering the fact that Kohli, ABD and Rahul aren’t a part of this lineup. Join us for more after the game.