Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad started their title defense in style with a comfortable 35-run drubbing of Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad.
The 'orange army' was powered to a massive total of 207 after being put into bat by stand-in RCB captain Shane Watson. Yuvraj Singh did the star turn by scoring s 23-ball half century, while Moises Henriques also scored a half ton. Shikhar Dhawan too chipped in with a fluent knock of 40 on a flat Uppal track.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled things back in the next over by conceding just one run off it, but the RCB openers targetted Nehra again in his next over. Gayle hitting a boundary and a massive six while Mandeep got into the act with a boundary as the duo took 16 runs off the over.
Bhuvneshwar wasn't spared either, Gayle hitting the first delivery of the fourth over for a six while Mandeep rounded things off by hitting a boundary off the last delivery. In a bold move Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was introduced into the attack in the last over of the powerplay and he produced the all important breakthrough. The wrong one was played on to the wicket by Mandeep, who departed after a promising knock of 24 runs.
Chris Gayle continued his carnage in the next over as he hit Deepak Hooda for a massive six, but the Jamaican's urgency to get another boundary led to his downfall as he was caught on the boundary for 32 off 21 deliveries, leaving RCB on 60/2.
Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav got together in the middle and the right and left hand duo started a repair job. Jadhav took the lead by hitting a flurry of boundaries as the pair took the Bangalore outfit to 111/2 at the end of 11 overs and the chase was well and truly on.
Skipper Shane Watson joined Head in the middle but things started to go downhill from then on. First it was Head who was removed for 30 by Rashid Khan. In the next over Bipul Sharma removed Sachin Baby for just 1 run as the Royal Challengers slumped to 130/5 at the end of 14 overs.
Stuart Binny (11) and Shane Watson (22) tried their best to keep RCB in the hunt with a few lusty blows but Binny's dismissal in the 17th over all but ended RCB's hopes.
Ashish Nehra picked up two wickets off two deliveries, one of them being Watson, in the next over to almost seal the deal in the defending champions' favour.
The Bangalore outfit was eventually bowled out for 172 with two balls remaining in their innings to hand SRH a 35-run win.
Earlier, the Sunrisers' innings started on a high tempo with David Warner looking to attack from the word go as he hit two boundaries and a six in the first 9 deliveries of the innings. But youngster Aniket Choudhary removed the Hyderabad captain for 14. Warner hit the ball in the air in the point region, where he was caught by the athletic Mandeep Singh.
This was the first time Warner had failed to score a half-century when turning out for SRH against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Henriques too joined the party as he hit countryman Travis Head for a massive six. RCB though struck back in the 11th over as Dhawan's ploy of attacking Stuart Binny backfired. The southpaw was dismissed for 40 off 31 deliveries.
Yuvraj Singh joined Henriques in the middle, and he looked in supreme touch from the beginning. The veteran left-hander produced some vintage stuff as he carted Aniket Choudhary for two boundaries and a massive six off the first three deliveries of the 13th over to push the run-rate up.
The big moment came when Yuvraj was dropped at the boundary by Sreenath Aravind on the last delivery of the same over. The Hyderabad batsman at that point of time was batting on 26. Henriques joined his partner in the carnage as he hit a boundary and a six in the 15th over. His boundary sandwiched a Yuvraj Singh six, as the duo took 19 off Aravind's over.
Henriques' maximum helping him get past the 50-run mark as the Sunrisers were loking good for a big score on 151/2 after 15 overs. The Aussie would depart early in the next over for 52, caught in the deep by Sachin Baby off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Yuvraj Singh brought up his half-century in the 18th over in just 23 deliveries, which is the fastest of his Indian Premier League career. He didn't stop there, hitting Tymal Mills for a boundary and a six off consecutive deliveries in the 19th over to power SRH closer to the 2000-run mark.
Mills though would have his revenge on the next delivery as he cleaned up Yuvraj for 62.
Ben Cutting hit two massive sixes off Shane Watson's last over to help the Sunrisers post an imposing 207/4.