Visakhapatnam: Ashish Nehra produced a sensational spell of pace bowling after Shikhar Dhawan shone with the bat with a scintillating unbeaten 82 as Sunrisers Hyderabad spanked Mumbai Indians by 85 runs in a lopsided IPL match and jumped to the top of the league table here today.
Sunrisers posted a challenging 177 for 3 with opener Dhawan remaining not out on 82 off 57 balls, studded with 10 fours and a six, after being put into bat and then senior pacer Nehra (3/15) triggered a Mumbai top-order batting collapse with a 12-ball spell of thee wickets to help the home side notch up an easy win.
Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who has been in brilliant touch this season, also scalped three wickets for 16 runs as he cleaned up the Mumbai lower order.
With the win today, their sixth in nine matches, the Sunrisers jumped to top spot with 12 points. They are levelled on points with Kolkata Knight Riders but above them on net run rate. Mumbai remained on fifth with 10 points from 10 matches.
Mumbai made a disastrous start in their run chase as they were reduced to 30 for five inside five overs with Nehra scalping three top-order batsmen in 12 balls and they never recovered from there at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
The defending champions kept on losing wickets in quick succession and were reduced to 54 for 7 at the halfway mark. They did not have any partnership worth the name with 23 being the highest. They finally were all out for 92 in 16.3 overs to slump to an embarrassing defeat.
Harbhajan Singh top-scored with 21 not out while only two other batsmen could reach double-digit scores.
Parthiv Patel was the first to go for a duck as he was dismissed LBW by a swinging delivery off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the sixth ball of the innings.
Nehra, who also got the early swing like Bhuvneshwar, then brought Mumbai onto their knees as he took three wickets in two overs, including the big one of captain and opener Rohit Sharma (5) from the first ball of second over.
A lazy-looking Rohit drove loosely a full length delivery outside off and got a big inside edge which clattered into the stumps. Nehra returned for his second over — fourth of the Mumbai innings — and got two scalps to leave the visiting side in tatters.
Ambati Rayudu (6) fell to a gem of a delivery from Nehra as the short-pitched ball got some extra bounce which surprised the batsman who initially committed for a shot but later tried to drop his hands. The ball hit the handle of the bat before it flew to Kane Williamson at backward point.
Two balls later, Nehra tempted Jos Buttler (2) with a widish delivery and the batsman, without moving his feet, only prodded to get a thick outside edge for wicketkeeper Naman Ojha to take a stunning one-handed diving catch to his right.
Barinder Sran got Krunal Pandya (17) out in the next over and nothing went right for Mumbai with Kieron Pollard (11), Hardik Pandya (7) and Tim Southee (3) being dismissed in quick succession with pacer Mustafizur Rahman joining the party.
By the end of the 10th over, Mumbai were all over at 54 for 7, needing another 124 runs with just three wickets in hand and at an asking rate of above 12 an over.
Earlier, Dhawan once again played the sheet-anchor role to perfection for Sunrisers, notching up his second successive unbeaten knock and his third half century of the season.
The right-handed opener, who struck an unbeaten 47 against Gujarat Lions in the previous match, bettered himself with a 57-ball 82, which was laced with 10 hits to the fence and one over it.
Giving him able support was skipper David Warner, whose 33-ball 48 had four fours and a six. The duo put on 85 runs for the opening wicket in 9.5 overs, providing the perfect platform for the home team to post a competitive total.
Another notable contributor today was Yuvraj Singh, who was playing his second match after coming back from an injury layoff. The left-hander produced a 23-ball 39, which included three fours and a couple of sixes.
Yuvraj was unlucky to be dismissed hit-wicket after backing up too much off a Mitchell McClenaghan delivery, ending up dislodging the bails.
Sunrisers could have posted a bigger total but for some incisive bowling by senior Mumbai off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who put the brakes on the rival team’s scoring.
In his four overs, Harbhajan managed to pick up two wickets for 29 runs, which was a commendable effort after the initial assault unleashed by Warner and Dhawan.
None of the other Mumbai bowlers could trouble Sunrisers much with Kieron Pollard ending up as the most expensive of the lot. The West Indian gave away 23 runs in a two-over spell, ensuring that he was not brought back into the attack.
Mitchell McClenaghan also leaked runs, conceding 38 in his four overs and was lucky to get a wicket against his name courtesy Yuvraj’s hit-wicket dismissal.