Wickets on successive deliveries by Yuzvendra Chahal and a brilliant display of fast bowling at the death from Navdeep Saini helped Bangalore open their 2020 Indian T20 League campaign with a 10-run victory over Hyderabad.
Here are the biggest talking points from the contest:
Devdutt’s dream debut
Having come in with a lot of hype around him, Bangalore’s young opener Devdutt Padikkal showcased why he was highly touted in the auction with a classy knock of 56 off just 42 balls.
Padikkal showed maturity beyond his years against a quality bowling line-up en route to a half-century on debut and finished as Bangalore’s highest scorer on the night.
The 20-year-old’s performance will be a big boost for Bangalore, who have been heavily reliant on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to do the bulk of the scoring for the side. If Padikkal can continue his good form and Aaron Finch starts firing at the top of the order, Bangalore could have a top-four capable of dismantling any team in the league.
AB de Villiers, still a superstar
Let’s just remind everyone that AB de Villiers retired from international cricket well over two years ago. But the South African batted like a man in prime today, guiding Bangalore to what proved to be a winning total in the end.
AB scored 51 runs off 30 balls, 31 of which came in the final four overs in just 16 balls, which helped Bangalore reach 163 on the scoreboard. The 36-year-old smashed four boundaries and two sixes before being run out while attempting a double in the final over.
The veteran’s form is a great sign for Bangalore, who will bank on him to finish the innings strongly.
Bairstow and Bhuvi brilliant for Hyderabad
The loss will be a tough one to swallow for Hyderabad, but they will take solace in the performances of bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and opener Jonny Bairstow.
Despite bowling two overs in the powerplay and a couple at the death, Kumar gave away just 25 runs in his four overs. Despite not picking a wicket, Bhuvi’s tight line and Bangalore’s desperation to score as many as possible yielded in two run-outs, proving that he can affect the game in more ways than one with the ball.
While the rest of the batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards, Bairstow dug deep and smashed 61 off 42 balls to get the equation down to 43 runs off the final five overs. A wild slog against Chahal where he completely missed the ball ended his innings and Hyderabad’s hope of winning, but nevertheless, it was a stellar knock from the Englishman.
New year, same Hyderabad
Hyderabad were cruising at 121/2 but a double-breakthrough from spinner Yuzvendra Chahal started a collapse that saw them lose seven wickets for 22 runs.
This isn’t the first time Hyderabad have thrown the game away in dramatic fashion. Last season, they did it against Mumbai, Delhi and Rajasthan. Against Mumbai, they went from 61/3 to being bundled out for 96, largely due to an incredible spell by Alzarri Joseph, who finished with 6/12 in his four.
Against the Delhi, it went from 102/2 to all out for 116 and Rajasthan managed to reduce the Sunrisers from 121/2 to 147/8 in the span of 27 balls. In David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, Hyderabad have an opening pair that is perhaps the best in the league, but their toothless middle-order has been their bane in the past as it was in this contest.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / Indian T20 League