AB de Villiers
Brutal Carnage- The word that simply explains the innings played by Abraham Benjamin de Villiers against a strong Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack. Walked in after the fall of Chris Gayle, AB wasted no time as he started to trash the bowlers to all parts of the ground. Inspite of wickets tumbling at the other end, AB reached his fifty off 23 and provided some hope for RCB. When 28 needed from the last two overs, he took the attack to the world’s best bowler Dale Steyn. He dispatched Steyn to all parts of the ground and scored 24 of his single over and took his side home with an innings of 89 off just 41 balls.
Once again Sunrisers lost two early wickets and it was left to their Aussie import David Warner to take them to a safer position. Warner once again batted sensibly in the middle overs and scored a half century, his third of the season. He shared a crucial partnership with skipper Shikhar Dhawan in the middle overs and with Naman Ojha at the end of the innings. By the time when he was dismissed in the last over, he took Sunrisers to a safer position with his knock of 61 off 49 balls.
Whenever Sunrisers needs an early breakthrough, Bhuvneshwar Kumar strikes for them. He has been at his swinging best for the Sunrisers this season. Once again he proved his worth against the strong batting lineup of RCB. Defending a modest 155 at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium against RCB, you need to bowl out of your skins to win the game. After a decent first over from Steyn, Kumar removed Parthiv Patel off his first delivery with a beauty and also accounted for Virat Kohli later in the over. Even the destructive AB de Villiers was kept at bay by Bhuvneshwar who finished with a match figures of 4-0-16-2.
Sunrisers decided to go in with four frontline quicks and just a lone spinner in Karn Sharma. He was picked ahead of Amit Mishra who was not at his best in this edition of IPL. Karn didn’t disappoint his captain and team management who had kept their faith in him as he finished with a figures of 4-0-17-3. Being a leggie, he accounted for the wickets of Chris Gayle, Rille Rossouw and Yuvraj Singh and kept the Royal Challengers at bay in the middle overs.
Virat Kohli is the most consistent batsman in modern day cricket. It is very rare to see him failing to score runs that too in consecutive matches. After failing to score runs against Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, Virat Kohli failed to score some runs yet again. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he failed to open his account and was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar after edging his delivery straight to the keeper. Before his dismissal, he was given a bad time by Kumar.
A notable candidate in the flop of the match over the past few months, Ishant Sharma proves why he is not considered as the frontline bowler inspite of playing for over seven years for his country in the international level. After the initial breakthroughs by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant failed to capitalise on them as he let RCB off the hook as the batsmen clobbered him for boundaries and sixes throughout his spell. He failed to keep the run-rate under check and conceded 35 in his three overs without picking up any wickets.
We don’t often see Dale Steyn turning out to be villain of a match. After conceding just 15 off his first three overs, it was expected that he will finish the job for his team with as many as 28 to defend in two overs. Bowling the penultimate over, Steyn was clobbered for 24 runs in an over as he gave away 6, 6, 1, 1, 4, 6 off his six deliveries against AB de Villiers. With that over producing 24, RCB looked firm favourites with just four needed off the last six balls.
The days are gone when the bowlers around the world feared when Yuvraj Singh was at the crease. After consistently failing these days, a lot was expected from RCB’s 14 million man after his team required him to stay alongside AB de Villiers in the chase of 155. But once again Yuvraj failed to meet the needs of his teams as he was dismissed for a run a ball 14 leaving AB to deal the target with the tailenders.