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16 Feb 2021
Sunrisers Hyderabad probably have had the worst start to the Indian Premier League campaign in this edition after they suffered six defeats in the seven matches that they featured in during the first leg of the tournament. The Hyderabad based franchise got a much needed break from the downward spiral after the IPL 2021 was halted after there were instances of Covid-19 cases within the franchises.
The SRH in fact took a bold decision of handing the captaincy to Kane Williamson midway through the tournament, dropping David Warner from the team. In a statement, SRH said, "The decision has not come lightly as the management respects the enormous impact David Warner has had for the franchise over a number of years.”
"As we face the remainder of the season, we are sure David will continue to help us strive for success both on and off the field,” the statement added.
SRH lifted the IPL title once back in 2016 under the leadership of Warner after they defeated RCB in the final. The Hyderabad-based franchise will now resume the tournament against Delhi Capitals on September 22 in Dubai.
But before that let's have a look at how the Sunrisers have performed in the first half of the tournament.
SRH vs Kolkata Knight Riders
The Sunrisers Hyderabad began their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai but had a disappointing beginning as they lost the very first match by 10 runs.
Batting first, KKR rode on Nitish Rana’s 56-ball 80, an aggressive half-century from Rahul Tripathi and later a cameo from Dinesh Karthik where he struck 22* off 9 deliveries to post 187/6 in 20 overs.
Rashid Khan was the only SRH bowler who chipped in with an economical spell of bowling where he returned with figures of 2/24 in 4 overs.
Later, SRH had a dismal start to the chase after losing two quick wickets but Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow steadied the ship for the side and stitched a stand of 92 runs. Both the batsmen notched up their individual fifties but their efforts went in vain as the Hyderabad side was eventually restricted to 177/5 in 20 overs.
SRH vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
SRH locked horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in their second match of the season in Chennai. RCB batted first and managed to put 149/8 in 20 overs, courtesy some good batting performance from the new recruit Glenn Maxwell who struck 59 off 41 during the course.
Jason Holder picked up three wickets for 30 runs in 4 overs while Rashid Khan once again proved economical and returned with figures of 2/18 in 4 overs.
The Hyderabad fans would have expected the side to chase down the target but a batting collapse in the middle overs pushed them on the back foot and the team eventually lost the match by 6 runs.
SRH lost Wriddhiman Saha early in the chase but the then captain David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put up a partnership of 83 runs for the second wicket with Warner scoring a half-century. But as soon as the left-hander departed, Sunrisers began to lose wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 130/7 to eventually get restricted to 143/9.
SRH vs Mumbai Indians
The Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers once again did a decent job and restricted a pretty stable Mumbai Indians batting line up to 150/5 in 20 overs after picking up wickets at crucial junctions in Chennai. MI were in a spot of bother at one stage when they were reduced to 114/4 but Kieron Pollard took the charge and smashed an unbeaten 35 off 22 balls which included three maximums.
Vijay Shankar and Mujeeb picked up two wickets each while Khaleel Ahmed also scalped one during the process. Later, SRH started off the chase pretty well with Warner and Bairstow putting up 67 runs for the first wicket but another batting collapse saw SRH losing the game once again.
Trent Boult and Rahul Chahar rattled the SRH batting order as they were eventually bundled out for 137 to suffer a defeat by 13 runs. Both Boult and Chahar bagged three-for each while Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard bowled economical spells for MI. Bumrah’s bowling figures for this match read 1/14 in 4 overs while Pollard only gave 10 runs in two overs.
SRH vs Punjab Kings
SRH finally tasted some success in the tournament when they met Punjab Kings in Chennai. The Hyderabad bowlers were once again on song as they didn’t let the Punjab batting unit take an upper hand and bowled them out for 120 in 19.4 overs.
Khaleel Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers for SRH as he scalped a total of three wickets at the cost of 21 runs in 4 overs while Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up one wicket giving away just 16 runs in three overs. Spinner Rashid Khan returned with figures of 1/17 in 4 overs.
Later, SRH only lost one wicket of captain Warner after the left-hander had put 73 runs along with Bairstow for the first wicket. While Warner was dismissed for run-a-ball 37, Bairstow went on to score a half-century and helped the side chase down the target in 18.4 overs.
Kane Williamson who had come in at number three remained not out at 16 off 19. Fabian Allen was the only Punjab bowler to pick up a wicket as SRH won the match by 9 wickets.
SRH vs Delhi Capitals
The encounter between SRH and Delhi Capitals ended in a most dramatic manner as the match went into the Super Over in Chennai. SRH had to bat first in the tiebreaker as they were chasing the target earlier and Axar Patel had the ball in his hands.
The left-arm spinner didn’t let the SRH batsmen, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow dominate him and gave away just seven runs in six deliveries. DC now needed to chase 8 runs in six balls to win the match.
Rashid was given the ball to bowl the Super Over by SRH while DC had Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant out in the middle. The spinner only gave two runs in the first two deliveries but was hit for a boundary on the third ball bringing down the equation to 2 required off 3. He then bowled a dot ball but couldn’t save the match for his side as DC did manage to score two runs in the final two deliveries.
Earlier, SRH needed to chase a target of 160 runs but once again a middle-order batting failure pushed them on the backfoot. Kane Williamson who had come in at number three looked steady to take his side home but he ran out of partners and SRH eventually ended the innings at 159/7 in 20 overs.
Williamson remained unbeaten at 66 off 51 balls. Avesh Khan picked up three wickets for DC while Axar had a couple of dismissals and Amit Mishra had a wicket to his name.
Batting first, DC rode on their top-order’s decent batting performance and managed to put 159/4 in 20 overs on the board. Opener Prithvi Shaw struck a half-century for his side.
SRH vs Chennai Super Kings
The Sunrisers Hyderabad had finished the Chennai leg with one win and four defeats and looked to turn tables for themselves but that didn’t really happen. SRH met CSK in Delhi and batting first, posted a good total of 171/3 in 20 overs. Captain and opener David Warner scored a half-century while Manish Pandey too chipped in with a 46-ball 61.
Later, Kane Williamson who had come in at number four struck an unbeaten 26 off 10 balls.
But the SRH bowlers failed to put a halt to the CSK’s scoring rate during the chase as Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis put 129 runs for the first wicket and the two players also notched up individual fifties during the course.
The Super Kings did lose a few wickets at regular intervals but Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja provided the resistance and took the side home by 7 wickets in the 19th over. Rashid Khan was the only bowler for SRH to be among wickets as he picked a three-fer for 36 runs in 4 overs.
SRH vs Rajasthan Royals
The change in the captaincy reigns as well as in the line up didn’t really change much for SRH when they met Rajasthan Royals in Delhi. Batting first, RR and especially Jos Buttler took on the SRH bowlers and stamped his authority with the bat after scoring a fascinating century against the Kane Williamson-led side. Buttler struck 124 off 64 deliveries that involved 8 maximums during the course.
Apart from him, captain Sanjuana Samson was also among runs as he put on 48 off 33 and helped the Royals post a mammoth total of 220/3 in 20 overs.
The Hyderabad side though started off the proceedings in a steady manner after Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow put 57 for the first wicket but Pandey’s departure saw fall of wickets for the Sunrisers at regular intervals and they were reduced to 127/5 to eventually get restricted to 165/8 in 20 overs and suffer a defeat by 55 runs.
Bairstow will be missing the second leg of the IPL 2021. "They (Bairstow and Malan) won't be boarding the flight to UAE. One of the reasons for their pull out is the six-day quarantine which they didn't need to do earlier," a BCCI official told PTI earlier. SRH have roped in Sherfane Rutherford in his place in the squad.
The Hyderabad franchise is placed at the bottom of the table at the moment and would be looking to get back into the groove in the second half of the competition.