Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) got off to the best possible start to Season 10 of the Indian Premier League with a convincing 35-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The home side rode on superb half-centuries from Yuvraj Singh (62) and Moises Henriques (52) and a fine bowling display led by IPL debutant Rashid Khan (2/36) of Afghanistan to post full points.
Chasing SRH’s 207/4 off 20 overs, RCB, without captain Virat Kohli and the attacking AB de Villiers, ended at 172 off 19.4 overs.
Rashid Khan would have settled for this sort of a debut any time. The Afghan leg-spinner was quite effective with his mixture of leg-breaks and googlies, taking care of stand-in opener Mandeep Singh and then picking up the important wicket of Australian Travis Head.
RCB’s problem was that the batsmen who got it did not stick around long enough to create those partnerships that were absolutely essential to haul in the challenging total.
Chris Gayle can be destructive on his day but he departed after scoring a typical 32. Same was the story for the rest, with Mandeep (24), Head (30) and Kedar Jadhav (31) all getting starts and not continuing.
Earlier, SRH scored what was a fighting 207 for 4 off their 20 overs, thanks to the rapier-like bat of Yuvraj Singh, ho decimated the RCB bowling a classic 62 off just 27 balls, with seven boundaries and three sixes.
Moises Henriques (52) and Shikhar Dhawan (40) were the other main contributors for hosts after they lost Warner early after the Australian began in whirlwind fashion. Ben Cutting came in at the fag end of the innings to hammer 16 runs off just six balls.
The fans got first sight to RCB’s big buy in the auction this year, English fast bowler Tymal Mills, but he was not too effective on the flat pitch. Nor were the other Bengaluru bowlers, barring leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, whose economical 1/22 was the best display for the visitors.