IPL 2016: Dhoni-led Supergiants begin road to recovery with win over Hyderabad
Hyderabad: Rising Pune Supergiants brought their stuttering IPL campaign back on track with a convincing 34-run win over hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad via Duckowrth Lewis method in a rain-affected match, here on Tuesday.
Relishing favourable conditions, Supergiants restricted Sunrisers to a modest 118 for eight after a rain-delayed start and won the contest via Duckworth Lewis method at Rajiv Gandhi International stadium.
Supergiants were comfortably placed 94 for three in their chase when skied opened up, forcing suspension of play. The play never resumed and Supergiants were declared the winners. It was first win for Supergiants after four straight defeats and credit for the much-needed win goes to their pace duo of Ashok Dinda (3/23) and Mitchell Marsh (2/14), who revelled under helpful conditions.
Stroke-making was a bit difficult as the match started late by one hour. The batsmen needed to apply themselves to get runs but Hyderabad players, save opener Shikhar Dhawan, did not respond to the conditions well.
The sluggish conditions made the RPS decision to bowl first more suitable. Hyderabad were never in contention after losing half the team at a score of 32.
The hosts owed their total to Dhawan, who struck a fighting unbeaten 56 that had two fours and a six. Dhawan's knock was second-lowest score for an opener, who carried his bat through the innings, in IPL history.
Herschell Gibbs had made 59 not out for Deccan Chargers in 2009.
Except for losing Ajinkya Rahane in the very first over, Supergiants were in complete control of the contest. Steve Smith and Faf Du Plessis went about their business calmly. Comeback man Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur Rehman bowled well but Smith and Du Plessis were ready to buy some time.
They shared a 80-run stand that set up the easy chase. Smith's unbeaten 46-run knock came off 30 balls and had seven boundaries in it while Du Plesiss hit 30 off 21 balls with three fours and two sixes.
The stand was broken by Moises Henriques when he had the South African caught behind. RPS skipper MS Dhoni promoted himself up the order and straight away smashed a four.
However he did not last long, hitting one straight to Aditya Tare off Nehra. Immediately after Dhoni dismissal, skied opened up again and play never resumed.
Despite defeat, Hyderabad remained at number four in the table with six points while Supergiants rose a rung to six with four points. Hyderabad suffered their first defeat after three straight wins.