April 23 is now the date the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would love to forget.
On this date, they did post the highest-ever total (263 for 5 versus now-defunct Pune Warriors) in the IPL back in 2013, but were bundled out for 49 four years later against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden, which is still the lowest total ever in the competition.
This time around, on the same date, RCB were embarrassed by Sunrisers Hyderabad who bowled them out for 68 and then raced to a nine-wicket win at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. Disciplined bowling from the Sunrisers after they opted to bowl alongside sheer lack of application by the RCB batsmen were the reasons behind the three-time runners-up’s capitulation in this game. Nothing else.
Openers Abhishek Sharma (47) and captain Kane Williamson (16 not out) then helped the Sunrisers stroll home with as many as 12 overs remaining. The Sunrisers improved their run rate and are now second in the standings with 10 points.
With former captain Virat Kohli again perishing off the very first ball he faced, only two batsmen, Suyash Prabhudessai (15) and Glenn Maxwell (12), could get double figures for RCB, which only sums up their disappointing showing with the bat in an innings lasting only 16.1 overs. Even Dinesh Karthik departed without being able to open his account, falling to left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith (2/12 off 3 overs).
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s T. Natarajan, who finished with 3/10 from three overs, during the match against RCB on Saturday. IPL
To be fair to Karthik, it’s humanly not possible for the wicketkeeper-batsman to bail his team out in each and every game.
Left-arm quicks Marco Jansen (3/25), who was adjudged Man of the Match, and T. Natarajan (3/10 in 3 overs) were the wreckers-in-chief for the Sunrisers. Pace sensation Umran Malik (1/13) again roughed rival batsmen up with his fiery pace and beat the edges of their bats on several occasions, maintaining a superb economy rate (3.25).
RCB simply couldn’t recover after that triple strike from Jansen in the second over of the game. Moving the ball just a little bit, the 21-year-old Proteas pacer first castled RCB skipper Faf du Plessis. Off his next ball, Jansen induced an edge off Kohli that was nicely snapped up by Aiden Markram at second slip with Williamson making a smart move by bringing the South African batter in that position.
In the last ball of that over, Jansen got the ball to shape away a bit to knock over the other opener Anuj Rawat, who too was caught at slip.