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Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians at Sharjah

Mumbai Indians: 149/8 (Pollard 41, Suryakumar 36, Nadeem 2-19, Holder 2-25)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 151/0 (Warner 85no, Saha 58no, Kulkarni 0-22)

Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 10 wickets

By Riley Taylor.

Sub-edited by Tony Robertson.

It could be the start of one of the greatest cricket domestic tournament victories ever, as Sunrisers Hyderabad demolished their first hurdle on their way to IPL glory as they shocked table-topping Mumbai Indians by defeating them by 10 wickets at Sharjah to qualify for finals.

Brilliant bowling from Sandeep Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem had restricted Mumbai to 82/5 early on but Kieron Pollard dug Mumbai out of trouble with a quick-fire innings of 41 off 25 balls before some late wickets at the death from Jason Holder kept Mumbai at bay.

In response, David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha produced a masterclass in opening batting as they completely took apart a second-string Mumbai bowling attack to cruise to a ten-wicket win and put them third spot going into the play-offs.

Hyderabad made just the one change with Priyam Garg coming in for Abhishek Sharma but much to the horror of Kolkata Knight Rider fans, Mumbai, perhaps with one eye on the playoff matches made three changes, with regular bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult rested for Dhawal Kulkarni and James Pattinson, with Rohit Sharma returning to the XI for the first time since game week 10 for Jayant Yadav.

It was a curious case to include Rohit, the explosive Indian opener who had been ruled out of the tour to Australia and possibly the rest of the IPL due to a lack of fitness, was obviously trying to prove to the selectors that he was more than ready to come back.

Sharma had other ideas as he had Rohit back in the shed in just the third over, the opener dismissed for four after charging Sandeep’s knuckleball and chipping a shot to Warner at mid-off.

Rohit’s opening partner, Quinton de Kock showed him how to attack Sandeep as he smashed him for 16 runs in three balls in his next over, but the South African played one shot too many dragging a slower ball on to his stumps to depart for 25.

The in-form Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan took Mumbai out of the powerplay without any further losses at 52/2 with the former striking two consecutive boundaries off Nadeem in the process.

The two had gone along nicely but Mumbai soon found themselves in trouble as they collapsed to 82/5. Yadav departed first as Nadeem returned to have the number three stumped by an excellent piece of glovework by Saha to see the back of the Mumbai stalwart for 36 before having Krunal Pandya caught for a three-ball duck by Kane Williamson.

Rashid Khan joined in on the action as he had Saurabh Tiwary dismissed for one, with Saha producing another superb piece of glovework, vindicating the decision to leave Jonny Bairstow out the side as he clung on to a low catch off the leg-spinner.

Pollard joined Kishan as the two looked to recover a situation Mumbai never looked like being in three overs prior and it could have been a lot worse for them if not for Rashid dropping a high catch off his bowling to dismiss Kishan.

Pollard, who Mumbai will owe their victory too if they win the IPL this year as he had been captaining the side in Rohit’s absence since his injury, arrived with his usual attacking impetus striking consecutive boundaries off Thangarasu Natarajan in the 16th over.

The West Indian was leading the partnership which just looked to be getting going before Sandeep returned to strike another devastating blow, getting Kishan to drag on for 33 to keep the momentum on the Sunriser’s side before another West Indian got in on the action, this time Test captain Holder having Nathan Coulter-Nile caught at extra cover by Garg for one.

It was all down to Pollard to guide his side to a decent total and with the pressure on he duly delivered as he struck three consecutive sixes off Natarajan in the penultimate over before striking one more off compatriot Holder to take Mumbai past 140.

Holder had his revenge the next ball as he dismissed Pollard for 41 after he surprisingly missed out on a full toss to end a blitzkrieg of an innings from the Mumbai vice-captain before Holder kept his cool as Mumbai just manged five off the remaining three deliveries to end on a meagre yet competitive 149.

The target was 150, the Sunrisers openers were Warner and Saha and qualification hung in the balance. The men in orange needed a good start which they got with the opening pair striking 56 runs off their powerplay without any losses.

Saha started the more aggressive of the two as he hit Pattinson for consecutive boundaries before doing it to Kulkarni the following over. Warner not to be outdone struck three consecutive four’s the next over off Pattinson as Mumbai’s rotated bowlers faltered.

Both batsmen took apart everything in their way with Rahul Chahar’s leg-spin failing to work wonders for one of the few times in the tournament as both Saha and Warner hit him for a boundary in his first over.

It seemed Sunrisers had learned from their earlier mistakes in the tournament which saw them slow down after a first start when chasing a low target as Saha and Warner continued to make runs seamlessly even outside the powerplay with the former hitting Pandya for consecutive boundaries in the eighth over.

Warner and Saha brought up half-centuries in the same over off Chahar before the former continued his assault after the final tactical timeout as he hit fellow Australians Coulter-Nile and Pattinson for boundaries to take him to his highest score of the IPL so far.

Mumbai offered nothing with the ball further continuing their poor record while defending but luckily for them, they didn’t have to endure bowling for much longer as Warner punched a four in the 18th over off Pandya to seal a crushing 10-wicket win.

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July 2024