New Delhi: The other day SRH might have had it easy against Rajasthan but on Thursday, the Hyderabad franchise experienced what it takes to see a cakewalk becoming an uphill climb. Up against MI, the home team stuttered in the middle phase and later at the end, losing wickets in heaps, to go from a position of strength to be staring at defeat. The match was turned on its head with MI clawing their way back despite not having a great total to defend. But a calculated innings by Deepak Hooda in the death overs took SRH home, of course with a little help from last man Billy Stanlake, who stood up and hit a four on the last ball to outlast MI in a dramatic fashion at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad.
If it was Mayank Markande who stung SRH with his four-wicket haul in the middle phase, it was the tag team of Jasprit Bumrah and Mustafizur Rahman who snared four wickets at the death to strangle the hosts. Thankfully, it was Hooda, who showed maturity and rotated strike to help SRH stay afloat. Bumrah and Mustafiz nearly snatched the victory but it was Hooda's resolve which helped SRH remained unbeaten in the tournament so far.
SRH were placed really well at around the eighth over having put up 73/2 with Shikhar Dhawan dictating terms. But as they say in cricket, it's not finished till its finished. As soon as MI's young leg-spinner Mayank Markande returned for his second over, SRH slump began. First, it was Dhawan who played an irresponsible stroke to signal SRH third wicket and later it was an experienced Manish Pandey who displayed rash intent to make his way out at 89/4. Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan steadied the ship for a while before playing on to give Markande his fourth wicket.
Then came Yusuf Pathan and the two Baroda batsmen forged a much-needed stand of 29 to take SRH to 136/6. It looked like SRH would cross the line safely but there was another sting in the tale. This time Bumrah cramped Pathan for space and got him at mid-wicket. Next ball, Rashid edged one behind. From 136/5, SRH were 136/7. Having come out of troubled waters, SRH were not done yet and were in for more turbulence.
Hooda tried calming the nerves of SRH tailenders but Mustafiz being a smart operator, he troubled them with his cutters. In desperation to cross to the other end, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma departed within a space of three balls. SRH wanted 11 off the last 6 balls and it was on Hooda to see them through.
The Baroda batsmen showed clever thinking and anticipation and moved outside off to hit a Ben-Cutting full toss over cover for a maximum. The bowler was bowling from round the stumps and it was clear he was to bowl outside off. But the following four balls were taken for ones and the equation on the last ball reduced to 1 run off 1 ball. Billy Stanlake was on strike and he Billy lived up to his billing and heaved a length delivery over midwicket for a boundary. SRH had survived a scare. Barely!!.
Earlier, SRH bowlers once again powered SRH to restrict an opposition of the might of MI to a lowly 147. It was Kaul, who struck twice in his first over to put MI on the back foot. MI also failed to capitalise on the stands and lost wickets at regular intervals. Rashid Khan capped off a brilliant spell with figures of 4-0-13-1 to strangle the Mumbai batters. Later, at the death, Sandeep found his vigour back and employed knuckle balls to capture two wickets alongside Billy Stanlake who also got two wickets.