HYDERABAD, India, CMC – Chris Gayle gave Royal Challengers Bangalore a typically explosive start, but their chase soon sputtered and they lost the opening game of the 2017 Indian Premier League against reigning champions Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday by 35 runs.
Gayle lashed two fours and three sixes in the top score of 32 from 21 balls to help RCB reach 59 for one at the close of the Power Play before a capacity crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
The dismissal of the talismanic West Indies opener caught at long-off in the seventh over off spinner Deepak Hooda however, transferred the balance of power to the home team and the visitors’ threat to successfully reach a target of 208 subsided.
Kedar Jadhav supported with 31, Australian Travis Head made 30, opener Mandeep Singh added 24 and skipper Shane Watson, the former Australia all-rounder, 22, as RCB were dismissed for 172 in 19.4 overs.
No bowler significantly distinguished himself – Indian star Bhuvneshwar Kumar however, grabbed 2-27 from his allotted four overs to be the pick of the litter.
Earlier, a rapid-fire 62 from 27 balls from Yuvraj Singh that included seven fours and three sixes and a whirlwind 52 off 37 balls from Australian Moises Henriques propelled Sunrisers to 207 for four off 20 overs.
After Australia left-handed opener David Warner was dismissed cheaply, Henriques and India left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan shared 74 for the second wicket.
Dhawan was caught at long-on in the 11th over, paving the way for a stunning display of dynamic batting from Henriques and Yuvraj that raised 58 in 29 balls.
Henriques was caught at long-off in the 16th over and cancer-survivor Yuvraj continued his comeback with a more power-hitting before Tymal Mills bowled him in the penultimate over, as the innings drew to a close.
Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and West Indies compatriots Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons are carded to be in action in the second match of the tournament, when Mumbai Indians travel to face Rising Pune Supergiant.