After suffering four consecutive losses in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, new entrants Rising Pune Supergiants found their way back to the winning ways after an all-round performance against consistent Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium on 26 April.
The delayed start to match turned out to be a nightmare for the home side, while it proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Pune bowlers who thrived on the rare swing conditions to rip through the opposition's batting.
Pune's decision to play Ashok Dinda turned out to be a master-stroke as the right-arm seamer made full use of the conditions to traumatize the opposition batsmen. The 32-year-old frontline bowler ended his spell of four overs with figures of 3-23.
If Dinda was breathing fire from one end, his bowling partner Mitchell Marsh was also keeping up pace from the other side. The Australian all-rounder had an influential outing with impressive figures of 2-14 in his four-over spell.
Ravichandran Ashwin (1-14) bowled his off-spin with precision, while Thisara Perera (1-32) was also amongst the wicket-takers. A collective effort from the Pune bowlers saw the hosts succumb to a mere 118 runs in 20 overs.
Hyderabad suffered a massive batting collapse against the threatening Pune bowlers. Their batsmen had a forgetful outing, with leading run-scorer David Warner getting dismissed for a duck in the first over. Dinda got the Australian batsmen caught at point before he could open his account.
Shikhar Dhawan (56*) and Aditya Tare (8) tried to steady the innings by adding 25 runs for the second wicket. However, Dinda struck again in the fifth over to dismiss Tare whose wicket opened the floodgates, costing Hyderabad their next three wickets for a mere six runs.
England's Eoin Morgan was dismissed for a duck by Marsh, Deepak Hooda (1) was undone by Ashwin and Moises Henriques (1) was caught behind the stumps. The hosts paid dearly for the lack of a partnership which eventually came from Dhawan and Naman Ojha (18).
The duo had added 47 runs for the sixth wicket before Dinda came back into the attack to send Ojha back in the hut. Soon, Bipul Sharma (5) paid the price for trying to steal a quick single as Perera's direct hit found him short at the crease.
With just 11 balls remaining in their innings, Hyderabad looked desperate for a late surge which came from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The right-hander smashed Dinda for a four and six in the 19th over, while he greeted Perera in the final over with two consecutive fours before losing his wicket.
Bhuvneshwar smashed 21 runs off just eight balls, including three fours and a six, to provide a much-needed boost to the total. Dhawan remained unbeaten on 56 - the second-lowest score by an opener batting throughout an IPL innings (20 overs). Herschelle Gibbs' 53* for Deccan Chargers against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 is the lowest.
If scoring 26 runs in their last two overs gave Hyderabad bowlers something to fight for, the early dismissal of in-form Ajinkya Rahane (0) in the first over made them believe in an improbable win. Rahane was caught at point after slicing Bhuvneshwar's wide delivery straight into the hands of Morgan.
The hosts kept testing the opposition batsmen but a solid 79-run partnership between Faf du Plessis (30) and Steve Smith (46*) diminished their chances. Henriques provided the breakthrough to Hyderabad by dismissing Du Plessis in the 10th over, but it was a tad too late for the home side.
Smith was looking to anchor the innings for Pune when MS Dhoni (5) was dismissed by Aditya Tare's brilliance in the field. Dhoni unfurled his wrists to play a fierce cut that went towards backward point where Tare's reflex action helped him pull off a blinder.
With Pune 94/3 in 11 overs, the rain returned to the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium and, after halting play for a while, the umpires decided to call it off. The visitors won the match by 34 runs as per the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method.
The highly-awaited win for Pune finally came after four losses as they rise to the sixth spot in the IPL points table. Hyderabad were on a roll with three consecutive wins, but today's defeat keeps them on the fourth spot with six points.