Sunrisers Hyderabad, the IPL 2016 Champions started their season with a convincing win of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Hyderabad. This was the opening match of the 2017 IPL season and the champions went in as favorites as the RCB line up was without its superstars as captain Virat Kohli, AB Devilliers and KL Rahul were all missing from action.
The Sunrisers had a couple of good partnerships between S Dhawan and M Henriques and then between Henriques and Yuvraj Singh to help them score an imposing 207 runs and put RCB under pressure. Henriques who had a great BBL in 2016 continued his good form and scored a half century with a strike rate of 140 but it was Yuvraj’s innings that deflated the RCB.
The stylish left hander looked in tremendous form and scored 62 from just 27 balls at a strike rate of 229.62 and pummeled the bowlers to all parts of the ground. Yuvraj was dropped by S Aravind early on in his innings and he took full advantage of the dropped catch, punishing RCB in the process.
Virat Kohli who was on the sidelines backed his side and stated that they chase down the total provided one of their big guns – Chris Gayle or captain Shane Watson played a long innings. It wasn’t to be their night as Gayle got out for 32 and Watson was dismissed for 22. RCB lacked the firepower lower down the order and never really posed a serious threat to the Sunrisers. In the end, RCB could only manage 172 runs as some great bowling by B Kumar and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan caused RCB to lose wickets at regular intervals and struggle to clear the ropes.
Sunrisers captain David Warner did not do well with the bat but was happy his side got off to a win. Man of the match Yuvraj was happy with his performance and will want to carry the same form right through the IPL and into the Champions Trophy.
In a statement, Yuvraj said “Every IPL you have to bring something new (haircut). Confidence. When you make a comeback and play well, you gain confidence. You don’t have to worry that you have to make a comeback. I’m batting more hours, working on the short ball, the slower ball, hitting in the V. Was a bit lucky today, but have been playing the short ball really well.”