A great start to the 10th season of IPL was evident even before the start of the game. Though Royal Challengers Bangalore was without some of its biggest names including Virat Kohli and AB DeVilliers, the presence of stars like David Warner, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav and Ashish Nehra had the expectations flying high before the game and it turned out to be exactly the same.
The finalists of IPL 2016 met once again at the start of IPL 2017 to kick off a new season in style. Last year, Sunrisers Hyderabad had scored 208 and they gave the same glimpse in this game as well, scoring mammoth 207. RCB started off in their signature style, with Chris Gayle giving horror to Hyderabad, however, RCB failed to retain the momentum throughout the innings and fell short by 35 runs, getting all out on 172.
The highlight of the match remained powerful knocks by Yuvraj Singh and Moises Henriques who scored 50s and good batting cameos by everyone else. Shikhar Dhawan scored 40 and Ben Cutting hit a 6 ball 16. SRH bowlers had a disciplined show of bowling with Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the show with his 2-27 in 4 overs. India’s veteran speedstar Ashish Nehra too had 2 wickets, however, his initial overs went for runs and he finished with 2-42 in 4 overs. Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s spinner had 2 wickets himself to finish with 2-36 in his quota of 4 overs. Deepak Hooda and Bipul Sharma bowled one over each and picked up one wicket apiece.
RCB started off in their signature style with Chris Gayle going all over the park. Though he missed his RCB opening partner Virat Kohli, but found a great match in Mandeep Singh. By the end of 4 overs, RCB had raced to 43 with Chris Gayle and Mandeep Singh playing at 22 and 20 respectively. David Warner introduced 2 spinners in 6th and 7th over and both thanked the captain for his belief with a wicket. Deepak Hooda came in 7th over and it seemed like a gamble when he was hit for a six by Chris Gayle, however, the part time bowler had him caught at long-off.
Once the momentum was hit with the wickets of openers, Kedar Jadhav and Travis Head tried to keep RCB on track, however, run out of Kedar Jadhav in 12th over and later the wicket of Travis Head in the following over made the pressure fell on Shane Watson. Watson was undone by Ashish Nehra towards the end of over, which almost meant the end of game for RCB who eventually fell short by 35 runs.
Earlier in SRH innings, Yuvraj Singh showed glimpse of his prime by scoring at a strike-rate of almost 230. He hit 7 boundaries and 3 sixes and brought his fastest IPL 50 in just 23 balls. He was well supported by Henriques who made 50 himself with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes. Yuvraj Singh was adjudged man of the match for his blistering knock and SRH started the campaign on a high.