It was another close matchup in the IPL as Royal Challengers Banglaore successfully defended 163 batting first and restricting the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to only 153. Virat and company have won their opening fixture defending a total, which is always a positive sign mainly after all the criticism with their bowling unit.

It was Devdutt Padikkal who started brightly in his IPL debut striking it with a lot of confidence. After he perished it was AB de Villiers who stood up and took Bangalore to a respectable total. It was not Hyderabad’s day as they lost their Aussie allrounder, Mitchell Marsh, early in his first over due to an ankle injury.

Despite all the issues Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) started slowly with David Warner getting out unluckily. Johnny Bairstow and Manish Pandey held their fort and kept the scoreboard ticking. Then Yuzvendra Chahal spun his web and kept picking wickets. Chahal also bamboozled Bairstow who was set and was looking to accelerate.

It was a positive win for Virat Kohli and his men though some factors went their way in this match and as the tournament progresses they will look to rectify their mistakes.

Top performer: Padikkal makes dream debut for RCB - Rediff Cricket

Poignant Padikkal played a stunner on debut

The Karnataka batter has made his name in the domestic circuit for some time now. The fans who follow domestic cricket regularly were expecting nothing less than this. The 20-year old southpaw simply oozes class with every shot that he plays. He was confident from the get-go and showed great stroke play while scoring his half-century. His brisk fifty was exactly what the Royal Challengers needed in the powerplays.

Padikkal smashed the likes the Hyderabad pacer apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to almost every corner of the ground. His innings was by far the most exciting knock of this IPL and fans cant wait to see more of him in the future games.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) rely too much on their top order

It is clear than Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are a top-heavy team when it comes to batting. Captain David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are automatic picks especially after their records in the past and also the consistency that they bring to the table. That is why someone like a Kane Williamson is sitting on the dugout. However, if we move forward from the explosive opening duo there is only Manish Pandey with a lot of IPL and white ball experience at the top level. Other than that the likes of Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, etc are inexperienced young players who cannot be trusted in a run chase like this. Meanwhile, Vijay Shankar has been awful with both bat and ball.

Also with Mitchell Marsh injured, it allows the Sunrisers camp to bring in someone like Mohammad Nabi. The Afghani player can provide more firepower in the middle order. There is also another option of playing Kane Williamson. The Kiwi can bat at no.3 with Pandey coming to bat at 4. That will provide more stability to their batting department. After Bairstow’s reckless shot in a chase that was more or less in the bag, the Sunrisers camp has a lot to think.

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Charismatic Chahal changed the game in RCB’s favour

The Royal Challengers are often criticised for their bowling and inability to defend totals. However, it was a good day at the office for Virat Kohli and his men though there was a little luck involved. Something which had nothing to with luck was Yuzvendra Chahal’s amazing spells. He managed to pick wickets of Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar and Jonny Bairstow. This completely deflated the Sunriers Hyderabad.

Chahal was in great form as he found the line and length early. He conceded only one boundary in his four overs spell that too in the last ball of his spell. The trickster tempted batters to go after him and once they fell for the bait he picked up their wickets.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad batters were wrong in analysing the situation. They needlessly went after the leggie but credit must be given to Chahal for keeping it tight. He was bowling well and constantly building up the pressure. In the end his magical figures of 3-18 from his four overs where he bowled 11 dot balls.