Hyderabad: The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is still in its initial days, but if early signs are to be believed, former champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have already set a pattern of restricting their opposition to modest totals and clinching victories.
And the tournament has also seen at least three thrilling last-over finishes in only its first seven games. Mumbai were involved in two of these and they would be disappointed being on the losing end both the times.
After their emphatic nine-wicket hammering of the Rajasthan Royals (RR), the Kane Williamson-led side had set out on a similar path but Mayank Markande’s 4/23 and two late wickets for Jasprit Bumrah handed them a real scare.
However, SRH managed to go past the finish line courtesy Deepak Hooda’s 32 not out, as he stayed till the end to prevent Mumbai from notching up their first win in IPL 2018.
The winning run came off No 11 Billy Stanlake’s bat who hit the ball over the close-in fielders to hand SRH their second win in as many games.
With 11 needed off the final over, Hooda clobbered a six over cover to put Ben Cutting under pressure in the first ball, who followed it up with a wide that brought SRH right back into the contest. A couple of singles and the winning hit did the job for SRH.
Chasing 148 to win, SRH finished at 151/9 in their 20 overs.
Having restricted Mumbai Indians to a modest 147/8 after putting them in to bat, SRH felt the heat when they lost wickets in a flurry.
After Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha provided them a strong start by adding 62 runs, Markande drew the first blood by trapping Saha (22) in the seventh over - his first - and went on to take a wicket in each of his next three overs to finish at 4-0-23-4.
Dhawan, coming off a match-winning 77 not out against Rajasthan, looked set for his second fifty on the trot but a top edge off Markande kept his innings to 45 off 28 balls, studded with eight fours.
Mustafizur Rahman chipped in with the priced scalp of Williamson (6) to rock SRH’s chase further, and Markande did further damage by removing Manish Pandey (11) and Shakib Al Hasan (12) in quick succession.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians’ ordinary show with the bat continued after their narrow loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first match. None of their batsmen could cross the 30-run mark, as SRH displayed their bowling prowess once again.
Rashid Khan (1/13) teamed up with Siddharth Kaul, SRH debutant Sandeep Sharma and Billy Stanlake - who all claimed two wickets apiece - to strangulate Mumbai Indians’ batsmen.
At the top Rohit Sharma (11) and Ishan Kishan (9) failed to make most of dropped chances, and in the middle, Suryakumar Yadav (28), Kieron Pollard (28) and Krunal Pandya (15) could not convert starts to provide Mumbai Indians any impetus.
Evin Lewis’ strokeful 29 - powered by two sixes and three fours - was the only bright spot in Mumbai Indians’ batting.