League newcomer Hyderbad and the Pune Warriors, coming off a last-place finish in 2012, shared plenty of errors between them in their season opener but it was Dale Steyn who sealed the win for Hyderbad, writes R Kaushik.
Indian Premier League: Hyderabad bowlers are the difference in win over Pune Warriors
Hyderabad // Two uncertain teams produced the kind of error-strewn cricket that generally makes for a close contest, until the brilliance of Dale Steyn emphatically settled the issue.
Enter Steyn, with the match on the line, with 24 needed off 12 and Angelo Mathews, the Pune captain, still out in the middle.
A couple of beefy blows might still have settled it but Steyn scythed through the tail, picking up three wickets in four deliveries to send Pune crashing to 104 all out, giving Hyderabad a 22-run victory.
Pune were left to wonder how they managed to botch a straightforward chase. For the hosts, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra – the leg-spinner who carved up the middle – and Thisara Perera, who followed up a batting cameo with the wickets of Robin Uthappa and Marlon Samuels, offered Steyn sterling support.
There was a singular lack of intent from Pune once the opening stand of 36 between Uthappa and Manish Pandey was terminated.
Pandey dawdled to 15, Yuvraj Singh was out-thought by Mishra, Abhishek Nayar succumbed to the mounting run-rate and Ross Taylor was cleaned up by Ashish Reddy as the last six wickets fell for just 21 runs in 18 deliveries.
The Hyderabad innings had never found any momentum, meandering along for the most part until Perera lashed 15 off Samuels' final over.
Hyderabad were undone by a combination of the accuracy of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashok Dinda, as well as the turn and purchase procured by Rahul Sharma, the leg-spinner.
Parthiv Patel and Akshath Reddy got Hyderabad off to a steady start, putting on 34 in 32 deliveries after Pune asked them to bat. It turned out to be the highest partnership of the innings.
The middle order could not kick on. Hyderabad suffered a blow when Kumar Sangakkara charged Rahul, missed the ball and saw his stumps rearranged.
After Hyderabad lost their best player of spin, their woes were exacerbated when Cameron White was completely lost against the ball turning away from him.
Reddy soldiered on without dominating proceedings and, like Patel and Sangakkara before him, he too fell in trying to force the pace. With the Steyn-led bowling unit in prime form, however, it did not cost the side.
R Kaushik is deputy editor at Wisden India.
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