It was fast, swift and explosive. The demolition job by Sunrisers Hyderabad’s feared pace attack was complete.
The deliveries zipped through on a lively Brabourne pitch. And the Royal Challengers Bangalore batters appeared and then disappeared. Pace was ace.
At the end of it, RCB’s innings lay in tatters, bundled out for 68 in Saturday night’s Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 clash. Sunrisers knocked off the runs with ease with the loose-limbed Abhishek Sharma (47 off 28) flaying the bowling and skipper Kane Williamson playing the supporting role. Sunrisers romped home by nine wickets.
Earlier, left-armer Marco Jansen, a livewire, sliced through the top-order [openers Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat and No. 3 Virat Kohli] in six deliveries to leave RCB, inserted, in a mess at eight for three at the end of the second over.
Sunrisers has the competition’s most potent pace pack. It has speed, two-way movement, both in swing and seam, bounce, and the right-arm left-arm variation in angles. And the seamers have been bowling with rhythm and control, probing the batsmen in the right channels, giving little away.
The wiry Jansen, with his speed, natural lift, control and movement, both ways, is as exciting as they come. Faf du Plessis was set up by a delivery that jagged back and then consumed by one that held its line.
Things went from bad to worse for Kohli. His technique needs to be sorted; his body and mind are not in harmony. Kohli’s footwork is failing him and he’s reaching for deliveries outside the off-stump with hard hands. A Jansen delivery angling across found Kohli’s edge to hand him a second golden duck in succession.
Credit to Willamson for having a second slip in a format where captains are conservative. The ball flew into Aiden Markram’s hands and Kohli was walking back.
T. Natarajan kept up the pressure, bowling stump-to-stump at a brisk pace and scalped three. Glenn Maxwell attempted to clear the in-field and was splendidly taken diving forward by Williamson. A crucial strike.
Left-arm spinner J. Suchith, a steady customer, dealt RCB a body blow when the prolific Dinesh Karthik gloved one down leg-side attempting a sweep.
And the fiery Umran Malik working up serious pace, had a lifting delivery kissing Shahbaz Ahmed’s gloves.
All escape routes for RCB were cut by a throbbing pace pack.