Having lost their last four games after an impressive start to their IPL campaign against Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants were in desperate search of a win. It was going to be a tough task against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were on a roll of sorts after their triumphs in recent games. But, Pune rediscovered the winning formula courtesy an excellent bowling display, which left the result of the game all but a formality. Yes, Pune were definitely aided by the fact that their bowlers got first use of a juicy surface. To their credit though, they made best use of the conditions.
The decision to play the erratic Ashok Dinda in the match proved to be a surprisingly successful move. Dinda doesn't have a great pedigree as a match-winner. But, on Tuesday, he was definitely on top of his game. His dismissal of David Warner in the very first over of the match was a massive moment in the game. Throughout this IPL, Warner has led the side to a number of wins with his scintillating strokeplay. But, his failure against Pune resulted in a batting collapse. Dinda went on to add the scalps of Aditya Tare and later Naman Ojha, to put Sunrisers in deep trouble.
What hurt Sunrisers most on the day was that they could not halt the frequent fall of wickets. Eoin Morgan, Deepak Hoofa and Moises Henriques all fell in quick succession as Sunrisers crumbled to 32 for 5. There was really no way back for the hosts from that point in the match. Shikhar Dhawan hung on gamely for his half-century, and Ojha gave him company for a while, but there was really on momentum to the innings as the boundaries dried up, and there were only trickles on offer. The final push was given by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who delivered a few lusty blows. But, Sunrisers had fallen way behind, and the late assault wasn't going to make much of a difference. And it didn't.
After their disappointing results in recent games, Pune will be most pleased with the result at Hyderabad. Undoubtedly, it was the bowlers who won them the game. While Dinda was without doubt the most successful bowler, it was an excellent all-round effort from the visitors. Mitchell Marsh kept things extremely tight, and finished with superb figures of 2 for 14, complementing Dinda perfectly. There was pressure on Ravichandran Ashwin going into the game. And, aided by the brilliant start, Ashwin managed to hold his own. Figures of 1 for 14 should please him. Overall, Pune should be happy to be back among the winning ways.
-- By A Cricket Analyst