Successful start to Sunrisers’ title defence

Indian Premier League

Quick half-centuries from Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh carried Sunrisers Hyderabad to a convincing 35-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Wednesday’s opening 2017 Indian Premier League match in Uppal.

Yuvraj struck 62 in 27 balls to Henriques’ 52 in 37, as Hyderabad posted a lofty final total of 207 for four. Bangalore’s reply was poor, ending on 172 all out in 19.4 overs.

Chris Gayle’s 32 was as good as it got for the Challengers, who were undone by a disciplined bowling performance from the home side in front of a near sellout home crowd.

“In all aspects, we were slightly off. We weren’t as tight as we should have been. Sunrisers pretty much have the same combinations, but we are still finding ours. It’s a privilege to lead the team. The wicket was slow, but very nice. We have plenty of firepower. We have to be better next time,” said defeated skipper Shane Watson, who led the side in the absence of the injured AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli.

Triumphant captain David Warner added: “It was fantastic the way the guys batted through the middle. We are always mindful of a jampacked line-up like the one Bangalore hae. We knew we had to negate their partnerships.”

Wednesday’s result was effectively a repeat of last year’s IPL final, when Hyderabad clinched a maiden title on the back of Warner’s superb half-century.

Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians will meet at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday.