If Sunrisers Hyderabad have remained in fray for a berth in the playoffs of the Indian Premier League 2014, it is largely because of their quick bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn. On Thursday night, the pace duo once again defended a low score as Sunrisers defeated Rajasthan Royals by 32 runs after scoring a modest 134 at Motera's Sardar Patel Stadium. This was Sunrisers third win in seven matches that kept them at fifth place in the standings. (Also read: Bhuvneshwar proud of Sunrisers Hyderabad bowlers)
Till Friday's match between Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Kings XI Punjab, Bhuvneshwar (14 at 10.71) and Chennai Super Kings' Mohit Sharma (14 at 15.50) were the leading wicket-takers in IPL 2014. But what sets Bhuvneshwar apart is his ability to bowl the dot balls. He has delivered 95 dot balls, the most by a bowler in this year's IPL.
Bhuvneshwar's excellent figures of 4 for 14 are the best by a Hyderabad bowler in IPL, eclipsing 4 for 19 by Amit Mishra versus Pune Warriors at Pune on April 17, 2013.Â Darren Sammy is the only other Hyderabad bowler to take four wickets in an IPL game -- 4 for 22 versus Punjab at Mohali on May 11, 2013.
By his lofty standards, Steyn has run hot and cold this season. He took 2 for 31 against the Royals. Steyn, with 27 wickets at 21.55 runs apiece in 24 matches, is the top wicket-taker for Hyderabad in IPL. He obliterated the 25 (ave.24.32) in 23 matches by leg-spinner Mishra, who is not yet in top form this season.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)