Sometimes matches that are marred by rains, become unfavorable to the side batting second after the Duckworth-Lewis readjustment. Something like this happened on April 22, 2015 in IPL-8’s 19th game at Vishakhapatnam between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. Put into bat first, SRH made a solid start with a 130-run opening stand, dominated by David Warner’s 55-ball 91 runs. Shikhar Dhawan couldn’t get into his groove and took 46 balls to finally reach 54. SRH suffered from a late-order slowdown and could only post 176/4 in 20 overs. KKR bowlers really worked hard in applying the brakes and the run-rate worked out to 8.80 runs per over. After the first 20 overs, it started raining and when play was finally made possible the complicated D/L mathematics made KKR’s target to 118 in 12 overs. Seen from the viewpoint of common folks, the asking rate looked a bit unfair on KKR and if you happened to be a KKR fan, you would keep cursing the D/L method since the Kolkata side fell short by 16 runs in the end while trying to reach a run-rate of close to 10 runs an over. It doesn’t mean that SRH didn’t deserve the victory but the D/L rule seemed a little too harsh on KKR.
Rains were forecast by weathermen but KKR still asked Sunrisers to bat first after winning the toss probably because Gambhir hoped to pressurize SRH with his bowling resources. Umesh Yadav and Morne Morkel have been doing very well this season and with Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawala and Yusuf Pathan also capable of troubling the batsmen with their slow stuff, it looked to be a good decision. But David Warner has a brand of batting that cares two hoots for the type of bowlers that he faces. He metes out equal treatment to everyone. Shikhar Dhawan is also a plunderer, maybe not in the same league as Warner but still effective on his day. The two SRH openers set about scoring quick runs and made the KKR bowlers ineffective. 100 runs were scored in the 12th over without any wicket falling. It was at this point that SRH should have stepped up and aimed for 200-plus runs. But the fall of David Warner in 15th over slowed down the scoring. Dhawan hung around but couldn’t accelerate. Ravi Bopara too fell early. Only Naman Ojha struck some clean blows but he lasted only 8 balls for his 18 runs and SRH finished their 20 overs at 176/4.
Immediately after SRH’s innings ended, heavy downpour ruled out the timely start. The umpires conducted an inspection at 7 PM and again at 7.20 PM. When play finally became possible, the target for KKR got revised as per the D/L method and they needed to score 118 in 12 overs. Robin Uthappa took the baton from Gambhir and struck some heavy blows. Gambhir looked a bit uncertain and could only make 4 runs from the 8 balls he faced. He lost his wicket to make it 35/1 in the fourth over. Manish Pandey came to join Uthappa but Uthappa also fell after making 34 off 21 balls. KKR promoted the big-hitting Andre Russell, who filled his role for a while but fell in trying to accelerate. The pressure created by mounting run-rate and accurate bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bopara and later by Praveen Kumar pushed KKR on the back-foot. After Russell fell to a great catch by Dale Steyn off Bopara, Yusuf Pathan also fell as a victim to Bhuvi Kumar with Sharma holding a nice catch. Surya Yadav came, when just three balls were left and it was too late for him to do anything. Finally KKR’s innings ended at 101/4 and they lost by 16 runs.
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