The injury of Ashish Nehra left the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack looking a little thin on the ground but their remaining seamers stepped up to defend a total of 162 and see them progress through to the Eliminator.
With Nehra out for the rest of the IPL, it has fallen to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, and young Barinder Sran to carry the attack for the Hyderabad outfit. They would have had their doubters ahead of the clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Bhuvneshwar struggling for form, and Sran lacking experience at this level, but the trio performed excellently.
Bhuvneshwar led the line with aplomb hauling in figures of 3/19 from four overs. Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur bowled yorkers with unerring accuracy as the innings drew to a close.
aptain David Warner praised his bowlers: "The guys have stepped up [in Nehra's absence], and Barinder Sran has been bowling very well. He is still learning, he is still a bit green, but he is always willing to learn.
"I think the big credit goes to Bhuvnesh because he has been helping him a lot. He has been talking to him day in and day out about what plans to have for different players."
On a pitch tailored for the Knight Riders big quicks, Jason Holder and Morne Morkel, with inconsistent pace and bounce, the Sunriser’s bowlers executed their disciplines fantastically well.
They will face stiffer challenges, though, as they prepare to face the Gujarat Lions with the promise of a meeting with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final should they be victorious.