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The Dubai International Stadium was the location for the third match of the thirteenth Indian Premier League between the Sunrisers from Hyderabad and the Royal Challengers from Bangalore. The coin flip went in Hyderabad spearhead David Warner’s favor, who put Virat Kohli and his eleven in to bat first. Some interesting decisions were made by the Challengers’ think-tank pre match, as Aaron Finch and Joshua Philippe both made their first appearance in Bangalore colors. But it was twenty year old southpaw Devdutt Padikkal who stole the show for the RCB. The left hander from Karnataka, making his IPL debut, scored a blistering fifty-six off just forty two deliveries and took Virat Kohli’s men to an ideal start up front.
Opening the innings for the men in red, Padikkal started cautiously against veteran fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But he was quick to latch onto the opposition’s mistakes, and was soon up and running with a flurry of boundaries. In an awestriking display of fearless cricket, the left hander showed next to no nerves even against the likes of Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar himself. He found an able partner in Australian limited overs skipper Aaron Finch, who was quick to adapt to his role and kept turning the strike over to Padikkal. The Australian eventually fell to left-armer Abhishek Sharma for a well made twenty nine. Padikkal himself seemed to be in unstoppable form, but his joy was short lived when Vijay Shankar managed to keep one low on middle stump and Padikkal departed for a thrilling fifty six.
The Royal Challengers steady flow of runs was somewhat diluted by the fall of three wickets in quick succession, but it was AB de Villiers who saved the day for the red brigade, taking the game deep into the first innings. When the death overs came, fans were treated to a vintage ‘AB’ special. The South African star scored a quick fire fifty two, an innings comprising of four boundaries and two mammoth sixes. Bhuvneshwar Kumar somewhat managed to pull things back for the Sunrisers, major credit falling to Manish Pandey for a rocket of a throw that saw the back of Ab de Villiers on the third ball of the last ball of the final over. The Royal Challengers Bangalore finished their twenty overs sitting at 165 for five- a fairly competitive total considering the slowness of the used wicket at Dubai.
Later into the evening, David Warner found himself on the receiving end of a Jonny Bairstow bazooka. Umesh Yadav pitched one up, and Bairstow hit the ball straight back at him. Yadav managed to get a finger on the ball, and deflected it on to the stumps at the non striker end. The Hyderabad captain was backing up to far, and was sent back to the pavilion in the most unfortunate of manners. But it was Yuzuvendra Chahal who sealed the game for the Royal Challengers. The leg spinner from Haryana claimed three scalps in his four overs and it was during his last over that the tide turned in RCB’s favour. The victory gives RCB two points and more importantly fuels their confidence for their upcoming game against KXIP.
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