Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad got their IPL 2017 campaign off to a brilliant start thanks to a comfortable victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Captain David Warner was all praise for Yuvraj Singh, who smashed his fastest IPL fifty, and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan Arman, who made an impressive IPL debut. Yuvraj's innings had seven fours and three sixes as he blitzed his way to 62 off just 27 balls, powering SRH to 207 for four.
Warner said that the left-hander's innings reminded him of the old Yuvraj. The Australian lavished praise on Rashid terming him a "fantastic prospect".
"Oh he (Rashid) was fantastic. He has the talent and seems to be a fantastic prospect for Afghanistan cricket. It was fantastic the manner in which the guys batted through the middle. We got to see the Yuvi of old we know."
Yuvraj sent the RCB bowlers to cleaners after Sreenath Aravind dropped an easy catch at deep square-leg boundary. Yuvraj was on 26 then and the let-off allowed him to score his fastest IPL half-century off 23 balls. His previous fastest was off 24 balls.
Man of the match Yuvraj Singh said:"When you make a comeback and play well, you gain confidence. You don't have to worry that you have to make a comeback (to Indian team). I'm batting more hours, working on the short ball, the slower ball, hitting in the V. I was a bit lucky today but I have been playing the short ball really well."
Chasing SRH's 207/4 off 20 overs, RCB, without captain Virat Kohli and the attacking AB de Villiers, ended at 172 off 19.4 overs.
RCB skipper Shane Watson admitted that they were outplayed.
"All aspects, we were slightly off. We weren't as tight. Sunrisers got pretty much the same combinations, we are still finding ours. Last man standing, but it's a privilege to lead RCB. The wicket was slow but very nice (batting)," said the Australian all-rounder.
(With PTI Inputs)