Pune: Amit Mishra is no stranger to bowling under pressure at the death, and in a nerve-wracking match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on Wednesday the Sunrisers Hyderabad legspinner picked up his third IPL hat-trick to pull the ground from under the home team's feet. It was simply stunning, the way Pune Warriors chocked in pursuit of a target of 120.
From 76 for 3, Pune lost their last seven wickets for 32 runs, four of them in the space of five balls during the penultimate over which began with Hyderabad defending 14 off 12. Dale Steyn and Thisara Perera had both bounced out two batsmen in each of the previous overs, and stand-in captain Cameron White opted to give the 19th to Mishra.
Off the second, Pune captain Angelo Mathews miscued a big shot to long-off. A single later, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was adjudged lbw for 0. Rahul Sharma slogged at the next and was bowled, and the hat-trick came when Mishra slid a goodly past Ashok Dinda and onto the stumps. Sensationally, Hyderabad had defended 119 to win by 11 runs.
Pune had done well to keep Hyderabad to 119 for 8 but their batting was woeful as the run rate started to escalate. The chase had begun strongly at 37 without loss in four overs - Steyn was taken for 20 in two - but Perera checked the run flow with the wickets of Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch in successive deliveries.
Even the wicket of T Suman (12), lbw to Karan Sharma, did not seem to have stalled Pune. But when Steven Smith (17) miscued a pull off Ishant Sharma to deep backward square leg, the jitters started to show. Suddenlt two wickets fell with the score on 101: Mitchell Marsh (14) top-edged Steyn to the deep and two balls later Abhishek Nayar (0) tamely lobbed a short one from Perera to mid-on.
Sensiing something dramatic, White tossed the ball to Mishra who produced a fascinating 19th over to become the first bowler in IPL history to take three hat-tricks (his first came against Deccan Chargers in 2008 when he was playing for Delhi Daredevils, the second for Deccan against Kings XI Punjab in 2011).
Earlier, Mishra had played a role with the bat, scoring 30 off 24 balls to help Hyderabad recover from a terrible start to a competitive 118. Given first use of a surface that was slightly slower than the previous match, Hyderabad's batsmen faced up to a probing Bhuvneshwar who made vital incisions into the line-up, from which the visitors struggled to accelerate.
Mathews returned to the side and opted to field and his decision was vindicated by Bhuvneshwar's three-wicket spell that quickly reduced Hyderabad to 17 for 4. The first wicket to fall was the IPL debutant Quinton de Kock who made 2 before cutting Dinda to Marsh at cover. Parthiv Patel took two plucky boundaries off the first and third deliveries of Bhuvneshwar's second over, but on the fifth was comprehensively bowled when playing for movement. Next ball, White had his stumps rattled by an incutter that stayed a low. The hat-trick was averted by Hanuma Vihari but Bhuvneshwar duly had his man when he swung from away from Vihari who poked to first slip on the last ball of the fifth over.
Hyderabad were 24 for 4 after the Powerplay, 49 for 6 after 11 overs, but Mishra managed to do enough to drag Pune past their previous lowest in IPL 6, the 99 scored against Punjab. Hyderabad managed 14 off the last over - 33 off the last three - to reach a total their bowlers valiantly defended.