IPL 2016: Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur key weapons in Sunrisers' arsenal

T20 cricket was called the graveyard of the bowlers. The role of the bowler was shaped in the minds of followers as a prop meant to showcase the might of the batsman. The consistency with which Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman have delivered blows in the poweplay and end overs has been key to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s success this season.

In the success of their bowlers, Sunrisers have not only redefined their fortunes, but have also served to remind us that bowling remains a vital asset even in the shortest form of cricket. It was no surprise then to witness the bowlers deliver yet another solid victory to edge them back into the top four on the table.

Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar of Sunrisers Hyderabad are congratulated for getting Dwayne Smith's wicket. BCCI

Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar of Sunrisers Hyderabad are congratulated for getting Dwayne Smith's wicket. BCCI

Bhuvi has produced wickets upfront, nearly every match. Against the Lions on Friday, the 26-year-old pegged them back by taking the wickets of Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina in quick succession. Add a maiden to that and you can imagine the impact of his early burst on the innings and the match.

Fizz has been a revelation and his acquisition has made the Sunrisers management look like clairvoyant oracles, with every single match. Just as he did in their previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 20-year-old from Bangladesh struck in his very first over.

Introduced in the sixth, the wily medium pacer nearly took a wicket off the first ball. Shikhar Dhawan, who starred with the bat later in the evening, juggled before spilling an opportunity to dismiss Brendon McCullum.

But just three balls later, Fizz had his moment yet again. He had Dinesh Karthik caught brilliantly by Kane Williamson, who took a magnificent one-handed catch at backward point. It was a classic Mustafizur dismissal, inducing a mistake to a ball that cut sharply. Karthik was looking to play toward mid-on when he edged in the other direction.

It is important also to give due credit to the disciplined support from Moises Henriques, Ashish Nehra and Barinder Sran. Those three bowlers have done well to stick to the basics helping the team retain the control afforded by the brilliance of Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur at various stages of the game. With the exception of Sran, who has been up and down a little, the bowling unit has been the secret to Hyderabad’s pursuit of a spot in the upper half of the IPL table.

Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur have combined to deliver 22 wickets in eight matches at less than seven an over. Most of those wickets have come at opportune moments affecting the flow of the match, often playing a definitive role in shaping the eventual result of the contest.

Three teams are tied at ten points each, with Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad having played a game less than Mumbai Indians. The team from Hyderabad will travel to Visakhapatnam for their next game against the Indians on Sunday.

Though it is an away game technically, Sunrisers will be received warmly in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. The presence of Ambati Rayudu will help Mumbai though, as he is certain to draw vocal support from the fans too.

With the likes of Rohit Sharma, Keiron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu on song, the Sunrisers will once again depend on their bowling arsenal to help the team retain its fourth spot on the points table.

Updated Date: May 07, 2016 15:09 PM

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