Such severe was Royal Challengers Bangalore’s drubbing against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday that a tweet read “Jonny Bairstow beats RCB by 1 run”. The Englishman alone hammered a scintillating 56-ball 114 while RCB together managed 113 to suffer a humiliating 118-run defeat.
Skipper Virat Kohli, speaking at the post-match presentation, minced no words in calling it as one of the worst losses ever. “Probably our worst loss ever. Difficult one to explain. We were outplayed in all departments by a quality side. This showed why they are former champions and finalists.”
Not only Bairstow but his opening partner David Warner too struck a ton — a fine 55-ball 100. Together Bairstow and Warner posted 185 runs for the opening wicket, obliterating the record set by Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn of Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017 by one run.
Kohli felt his bowlers lacked plans against the attacking duo. “We could have tried different things, like bouncers. They batted really well once they got in. Few of the edges fell into vacant areas. Brilliant to sustain intent for the first 16-17 overs. We still have 11 games and things can turn around quite quickly in this league. We have to capitalise on that in the next games. When things don’t go our way, we will have to find ways of winning moments. You need to start well and the next game (against Rajasthan Royals) should be that game for us.”
SRH skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar hailed Bairstow and Warner for their record-breaking effort. “They gave us perfect starts in all the three matches, we hardly see an opening partnership getting a stand of 100 runs. As a team they are giving us good starts. Earlier it was (only) Warner who was giving us a good start. Now it is Jonny. It is good for us to have two batsmen who can take the bowlers on.”
Bhuvneshwar said the smashing return of Warner has given the batting order an explosive look. “It’s good to have him in the team. He’s a proven performer for us in the last few years. He’s doing that again and again.”