Right before the start of the Indian Premier League, if there was one team who looked like making it to the playoffs and maybe final, was Sunrisers Hyderabad. Even though they had lost David Warner to the ball-tampering scandal, but still Hyderabad looked like a solid outfit under the leadership of Kiwi Kane Williamson.
For those who had any apprehensions as to how the team would fare sans Warner, Williamson took the bull with the horns and emerged as the highest run-scorer in the tournament. Again, the bowling shone for SRH with the young Rashid Khan leading the way, and virtually single-handedly took them to the final. One could say that it was a total team effort on SRH’s part to reach the final of the league for the second time.
Cricketnext takes a look at Hyderabad’s journey in IPL 2018:
Match 1, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals (Won by 9 wickets)
SRH started their campaign in style and thrashed Rajasthan in their home. Chasing a modest target of 126, Sunrisers got home just in the 16th over and with 9 wickets to spare. For Rajasthan, Sanju Samson was the highest run-scorer with 49 under his name. Every bowler chipped-in with at least a wicket for Hyderabad. Shikhar Dhawan scored 78 for his team to complete an easy victory.
Match 2, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians (Won by 1 wicket)
It was a narrow win for SRH and they managed to get past Mumbai in the last ball of the match. After batting first Rohit and Co. scored 147 runs. Their innings was marred by fall of wickets at regular intervals. Again for SRH, every bowler contributed. Rashid Khan bowled a whopping 18 dots in his spell. Their chase was in shambles till the very last moment with Mayank Markande taking 4/23, but somehow Hyderabad managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Match 3, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 5 wickets)
Sunrisers made it three wins in a row when they faced KKR at Eden Gardens. The win put them on the top of the points table early in the tournament, and they never lost that spot till the league stage got over. Chasing 139, Kane Williamson guided his team home with a brilliant 50. Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned with match figures of 3/26.
Match 4, Kings XI Punjab vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Lost by 15 runs)
Chris Gayle hammered an unbeaten 104 to take the game away from Sunrisers. That meant KXIP post a target of 194, which was out of reach for SRH. Williamson again shone with the bat and scored 54, but that was not enough to save his team from a defeat.
Match 5, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings (Lost by 4 runs)
CSK has always been SRH’s nemesis. They somehow find ways to lose to MS Dhoni-led team, after being in a position of strength. This time the margin of loss was just 4 runs. Chasing 183, Williamson was at his smashing best and scored 84 from 51 balls. Yusuf Pathan too scored a brisk 45 from 27 deliveries. But in the end they fell short by 4 runs.
Match 6, Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 31 runs)
SRH got their campaign back on track after two consecutive losses. After their batsmen just managed to score118, their bowlers rose to the fore. Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan together picked up 5 wickets and giving away just 34 runs. They bundled out MI for just 87.
Match 7, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab (Won by 13 runs)
It was a sweet revenge for SRH, after they won against KXIP, against whom they had lost their previous battle. In a low-scoring game, chasing 133, KXIP was all out for 119. Rashid Khan again starred for SRH, picking 3/19.
Match 8, Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 11 runs)
This match once again was a testimony to SRH’s best bowling unit title. After scoring 151 against Rajasthan, they restricted the opposition to just 140/6. Williamson once again shone with the bat and scored 63. In the bowling department, Sandeep Sharma emerged as the star and returned with figures of 1/15 in his four overs.
Match 9, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils (Won by 7 wickets)
This match witnessed Prithvi Shaw’s brilliance. The Delhi Dadredevils opener scored 65 from 36 balls. But his fifty went in vain as SRH chased down the total with one ball and seven wickets to spare. Alex Hales top-scored for SRH with 45 from 31 balls. But it was Williamson who took his side home once again with unbeaten 32.
Match 10, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royals Challengers Bangalore (Won by 5 runs)
This match some great bowling by former SRH recruit Mohammed Siraj who took 3/25 in his 4 overs. Kane Willamson’s 56 helped SRH reach 146. But Hyderabad bowlers did well to see the back of AB de Villiers early. Even though Virat Kohli scored 39, he didn’t get enough support from the other batsmen and ended up five runs short of the target.
Match 11, Delhi Daredevils vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 9 wickets)
The match saw the first ton of the tournament by an Indian. Delhi’s Rishabh Pant smashed 128 from 63 balls. That powered Delhi to 187/5 in their 20 overs. That didn’t prove enough for them as Shikhar Dhawan (92) and (83) took the match away from Delhi. It was a rare failure for SRH bowlers in the tournament.
Match 12, Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 8 wickets)
After batting first, Hyderabad posted a challenging total of 179. Dhawan and Williamson were the stars with the bat once again and scored 79 and 51 respectively. But all their hardwork was undone by CSK’s Ambati Rayudu who scored an unbeaten 100 from 62 balls. SRH’s star bowler Siddarth Kaul gave away 40 runs in three overs only.
Match 13, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Lost by 14 runs)
This was a crunch match for RCB as they needed to win to stay alive in the tournament.
De Villiers (69), Moeen Ali (65), Colin de Grandhomme (40) and Sarfaraz Khan (22) took Bangalore to 218/6. Williamson kept SRH in the hunt till the very end with his 81. Manish Pandey too scored 62 from 38 balls, but in the fell short by 14 runs.
Match 14, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Lost by 5 wickets)
SRH succumbed to their third straight loss in the business end of the tournament, and when it mattered the most. Dhawan scored a fifty, while Sreevats Goswami chipped-in with 35, to take SRH to 172. But Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa took KKR safely to the finish line. Carlos Brathwaite picked two wickets for Hyderabad.
Qualifier 1, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings: (Lost by 2 wickets)
For the third time in the tournament, CSK emerged victorious against Hyderabad. Batting first, SRH were restricted to 139/7. Towards the end of the innings, Brathwaite smashed 42 from 29 balls to take his team to a respectable total. Bowlers tried pulling the match back for SRH and had put CSK in trouble at 62/6. But Faf de Plessis scored an unbeaten 67 from 42 balls to take his side to the final.
Qualifier 2, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Won by 13 runs)
Hyderabad tasted success after four losses. The match completely belonged to Rashid Khan whose all-round performance took Hyderabad in the final. While batting Rashid played a cameo of 34 runs from 10 balls that took his team to 134/7. In the bowling department, he took 3/19 to guide his team to victory. KKR were restricted to 160/9.
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