Virat Kohli’s RCB make a winning start to IPL 2020 as SRH implode

It was billed as the battle between two of world cricket's biggest names as Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore took on David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai. 

Winning the toss, Warner elected to field first. 

With much speculation about whether or not Virat would open, RCB opted to go with the combination of the experienced Aaron Finch and debutant Devdutt Padikkal. 

After a circumspect first over, Padikkal made his presence felt as he began to find the boundary regularly. Finch took a back seat as the youngster from Karnataka raced away to 34 off 22 balls in the first five overs, propelling RCB to 48 for no loss. 

Padikkal soon notched up a debut half-century – he in fact holds the rare distinction of fifties in all his debuts: first-class, List A and T20. 

The Hyderabad bowlers however soon began to pull things back and forced the RCB openers to drastically slow the pace of scoring. After a couple of dropped catches, Padikkal was sent back to the hut by Vijay Shankar, having made 56 off 42 balls. 

Finch was gone in the next over, LBW to Abhishek Sharma – RCB at 90/2 after 11.1 overs. 

That brought to the crease the massively experienced combination of RCB’s two biggest stars – Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. However, if fans expected to be treated to a shower of boundaries from these two, they were in for disappointment. 

Speared by Rashid Khan, the SRH bowlers kept the Bangalore duo very quiet. A below average partnership of 33 off 28 balls meant that when Virat fell for 14, RCB only had 123 on the board after 15.5 overs. 

With time running out, AB stepped up to the plate. A slow start which saw him score just 14 off 13 balls eventually became a 30-ball 51. He hit four fours and two sixes, which included his 200th IPL six, in his innings.

Together with Shivam Dube, they put on 39 runs in the last four overs taking them to a respectable total of 163/5.

Warner’s 2020 IPL campaign as a batsman began in an unfortunate manner with the Aussie getting run out for 6 after a deflection off the bowler Umesh Yadav's hand that hit the stumps. 

However, 2019 hero Jonny Bairstow at the other end looked in sensational form as he kept the run rate ticking. Manish Pandey at the other end was not his usual big hitting self, scoring more or less at a run a ball. 

Pandey eventually fell in the 12th over to Yuzvendra Chahal, having made 34 off 33 balls. Sunrisers were on 89/2 after 11.6 overs and with Bairstow going great guns looked like they had the match in the bag. 

After a well executed innings, Bairstow inexplicably went for a risky slog in Chahal’s last over, ended up missing and had his stumps rattled. And that marked the beginning of the end for Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

The very next ball sent Vijay Shankar packing. The next over saw the departure of Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma, who was run out after a horrific mid-pitch collision with Rashid. In the over after that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan made their way back to the pavilion. 

An injured Mitchell Marsh, who had hurt his ankle while bowling, came hobbling out but didn’t trouble the scoreboard as he was sent back in the penultimate over. 

Sandeep Sharma was the last Hyderabad wicket to fall, with the team self-imploding to hand RCB a 10-run win – SRH had gone from 121/3 in 15.2 overs to 153 all out in 19.4 overs. 

Chahal was named Man of the Match for his figures of 3/18 in four overs.