Hyderabad: A night that began with fireworks and plenty of hope for Sunrisers Hyderabad courtesy Moises Henriques and David Warner ended in disappointment and heartbreak. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the predominantly ‘Orange Army’ in the 30,000-strong crowd. A match that didn’t look like happening at one stage was reduced to an 11-overs-a-side shootout. Then, it was again truncated to a six-over chase for Bangalore.
That the game was lost off the penultimate ball added to the despondency in the Hyderabad camp as their original total of 135 for 3 in 11 overs was reduced to next to nothing. Tom Moody, the Hyderabad coach, was a perplexed man and didn’t mince words when he called for a proper review of the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Bangalore’s revised target of 81 was his bone of contention. “I am still a little disillusioned to how Duckworth-Lewis comes up with the numbers they come up with," he rued after the match. “You score the total that you have in 11 overs with three Power Play overs. Then you have a rain interruption. You then have to defend six overs with two Power Play with them needing a little over 13 an over. That’s basically what you have done for 11 overs."
He then shook his head vehemently before continuing: “Plus 10 wickets [in hand], so I think personally I feel that [it should be reviewed]. I am not the only one; it’s been talked about for a fair period of time. There’s something that definitely needs to be looked at there. There is an imbalance. You don’t want rain interruptions. But you also don’t want skewed games with huge disadvantage like that."
While Moody argued for a holistic change in how revised targets should be calculated, it wasn’t lost on him that no total was out of Bangalore’s reach. He couldn’t quite pinpoint as to where it all went wrong for Hyderabad, but firmly defended his bowlers for giving it their best on a greasy outfield against two marauding batters in Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, who made 35 and 44 not out respectively.
“When you are dealing with the top three like RCB have got, it’s always going to be a great challenge in a six-over contest," he said. “Gayle faced 10 balls; 35 runs later he put a massive dent in the total. He is a dangerous player and we all know that, whether he is batting with six overs, or 20 overs or 100 overs. We needed to pick him early but quality players step up on the big occasion.
“It’s very hard to answer where it went wrong for us. Each and every player out there did his very best under the circumstances. Am not going to [apportion] blame towards any particular player. At the end of the day, as I just told the players, that we haven’t lost that match.
“This was a game that was thrown into an extraordinary situation. It was a game we would have liked to have taken two points from. We would have liked to play a 40-over contest. But we can walk away very proud with that performance today."
That Hyderabad got into a winning position after the first half was courtesy a blitzkrieg from Henriques, who smashed 57 off just 22 balls. It was the bruising manner in which he accumulated his runs that made everyone sit up and take notice. His second-wicket stand of 105 with Warner, who made 52, was a treat to the eyes. Henriques wasn’t done just yet, as he then picked up the wickets of Gayle and AB de Villiers, for a duck, off successive deliveries.
While Moody was in the mood to reflect on what could have been, he was also effusive in his praise for Henriques. “Moises is in terrific form and he’s got many gears. He’s shown here tonight that he has a smart cricketing brain on his shoulders," he said. “He can move through those gears when he needs to. That’s probably one of his best knocks in T20 cricket. He batted exceptionally well, took control and that took enormous pressure off David Warner after we lost an early wicket. But yes, we scored an exceptional total in 11 overs.
“The only thing he (Henriques) didn’t get was a win. He bowled well and batted exceptionally well. He is a quality allrounder, which he has shown throughout the tournament. The disappointing thing is when you have an individual performance like that, and you don’t walk away with two points."