After a high scoring thriller in Abu Dhabi, things settled down a bit as Rajasthan Royals registered a comfortable win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a low scoring encounter. While Sunrisers could manage only 133 in their alloted 20 overs, the Royals from Rajasthan notched up the runs comfortably after a few initial hiccups.
Match Review: Indian Premier League – Rajasthan Royals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. April 18th at Sheik Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals’ captain Shane Watson won the toss and put Sunrisers Hyderabad to bat first. The decision paid rich dividends in the first over of the innings as Dhawal Kulkarni managed to get a big scalp of Aaron Finch. Captain Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner played risk free cricket and tried to consolidate but tight bowling from the Royals kept the score in check.
Rajat Bhatia provided the second breakthrough in the 12th over by dismissing the dangerous looking Shikhar Dhawan for 38 who was looking to free his arms. Another wicket of David Warner by Bhatia in his next over put the Royals in a commanding position.
Darren Sammy tried the big hits but failed to capitalize. Venugopal Rao at the other end too was unsuccessful in lifting the run rate, all thanks to a tight bowling from Pravin Tambe in the middle overs. James Faulkner and KW Richardson applied the brakes in the Sunrisers’ innings in the death overs which resulted in a familiar sub 130 kind of total for the batting team.
Chasing a modest 134 to win, the Royals threw a surprise by sending Abhishek Nayar to open instead of captain Shane Watson. The move backfired as Dale Steyn trapped Nayar for LBW on the third ball of the first over itself. Sanju Samson too got out which was a soft dismissal and the pressure was back on Rajasthan Royals.
Major tragedy struck on the Royals in the seventh over when Watson was caught for just 3 off Ishant Sharma’s bowling. Ajinkya Rahane then tried to stabilize the innings with Stuart Binny and the duo played sensible cricket in the middle overs. Rahane kept it safe while Binny was more aggressive. Both put up a 77 run match winning partnership.
Amit Mishra managed to get Rahane out for 59 in the 16th over but the Royals then needed only 26 in the last four overs. For a brief period, it looked like there might be a twist in the tale when Mishra bowled a very tight over and got rid of Brad Hodge for 1. But all hopes were dashed as Binny kept his cool along with James Faulkner who finished the match in the last over with two consecutive boundaries.
Scorecard: Rajasthan Royals – 135/6 (Rahane – 59, Binny – 48*; Steyn 2/29, Mishra 2/26) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad – 133/6 (Dhawan 38, Warner 32; Bhatia 2/22, Kulkarni 2/23)
Player of the Day: Ajinkya Rahane (RR)
Disappointment of the Day: Darren Sammy (SRH)
Umpires: BE Bowden (New Zealand) and RK Illingworth (England)