Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s captaincy debut ended with on a painful note as Sunrisers Hyderabad conceded a strong position to lose their IPL 2019 opener by six wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
For the most part of the the second innings, the Sunrisers were on top while defending 181. Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Chris Lynn in the very second over to give his team a flying start. Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa then steadied the ship with an 80-run stand. However , the Sunrisers once again took command of the proceedings by dismissing Uthappa and the dangerous Dinesh Karthik in quick succession to reduce the home team to 95 for 3 from 87 for 1.
The equation eventually came down to 53 off the last three overs and Sunrisers Hyderabad were the favourites. However, Andre Russell changed the course of the game by helping, Knight Riders collect 40 from the next two overs. With 13 required from the last two overs, Shubman Gill slammed two sixes off Shakib to take the Knight Riders home against the Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led side.
Earlier in the game, the Sunrisers scored 181 for 3. Asked to bat first on a good batting track, the Sunrisers Hyderabad were off to a stunning start thanks to comeback man David Warner. He scored 85 off just 53 deliveries with the help of 9 fours and three sixes. Opening the innings alongside IPL debutant Jonny Bairstow, Warner looked in his elements right from the time Knight Riders skipper asked the visitors to bat first. He added 118 runs with Bairstow in just 65 deliveries to lay the foundation for a big total.
The southpaw then added 26 runs with Vijay Shankar before missing a well-deserved century by just 15 runs. Towards the end, Shankar’s quickfire knock of 40 not out helped Sunrisers post a big total of 181.
Speaking at the end of the game, Sunrisers skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar said:
“It was a good game of cricket. If you can’t get Russell out, he can take away the game from you. We were looking for wickets but couldn’t execute the things. “
“In T20, it is a par score but if you look at this ground, it is one of those grounds where defending is not easy. You have to take wickets at regular intervals. It is difficult. There was a bit of dew so may not much (on plans if asked to defend again). It is all about execution. You always want to start on a high note early in the tournament. But yes, if you get these kinds of matches early in the tournament, you know how to improve in the next matches,” added Bhuvneshwar Kumar.