IPL 2018 – Hyderabd vs Rajasthan: Sunrisers bowlers prove too much for Royals


April 9, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Sunrisers Hyderabad 127 for 1 (Dhawan 77*, Williamson 36*) beat Rajasthan Royals 125 for 9 (Samson 49, Kaul 2-17, Shakib 2-23) by nine wickets

April 9, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Sunrisers Hyderabad 127 for 1 (Dhawan 77*, Williamson 36*) beat Rajasthan Royals 125 for 9 (Samson 49, Kaul 2-17, Shakib 2-23) by nine wickets

April 9, 2018: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2018, Hyderabad Reprieved on zero, Dhawan slammed a 33-ball half-century as Sunrisers cruised to a nine-wicket win – BCCI

HYDERABAD – No team had chased more than 146 to win in Hyderabad since 2015. Without David Warner, their highest run-getter in each of the previous three seasons, it was a brave call from new captain Kane Williamson to field first and his bowlers justified that call in style.

Rajasthan Royals huffed and puffed to 125 for 9 and then saw Sunrisers canter home by nine wickets on the same Uppal surface where the ball appeared to be doing all sorts of tricks when they batted. Dhawan slammed a half-century, Williamson warmed up with an attractive knock and the home fans returned home a happy lot.

In his first game for the new franchise who acquired him for a steal at INR 50 lakhs (US$ 77,100), Australia fast bowler Billy Stanlake used his 6''3 height to generate zip and awkward bounce to bowl four impressive overs that also fetched him the big scalp of Ben Stokes. Then Spin twins Shakib Al Hasan and Rashid Khan applied the brakes in the middle overs, finishing with combined figures of 3 for 46 off eight overs to derail Royals. Barring Sanju Samson's 42-ball 49, there was little of note from the top order.

In reply, Sunrisers completely took the surface out of the equation as Dhawan and Kane Williamson's 121-run third-wicket stand snuffed out any inkling of hope Royals may have had of salvaging the match. It meant there was no fairy tale return.

Royals' top-heavy batting strategy backfires

In pushing Rahul Tripathi, who enjoyed phenomenal success as an opener in 2017, to No. 5, they may have erred right at the outset. Tripathi's attacking instincts and the ability to find boundaries at will in the Powerplay – reflected in his Smart Strike Rate of 201.82 – made him vital to Rising Pune Supergiant's plans last season. Here, when he walked in to bat, Royals were struggling at 63 for 3 in the ninth over.

D'Arcy Short, BBL 2017's highest run-getter, ran himself out in the first over. Samson walked in at No. 3 and began with two pleasing back-to-back boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar – first a punch on the up through cover and then a wristy flick to bisect midwicket and mid on – but couldn't quite maintain the tempo after the PowerPlays that fetched 48. This even as Ajinkya Rahane struggled at the other end.

The Rashid-Shakib unison

Where sides often decide to open with spin, Williamson held Rashid back for after the first six. His Smart Economy of 4.89 between overs 6-15 was second best to Sunrisers' MVP of 2016 – Mustafizur Rahman, whose economy was pegged at 4.66. He made the ball talk immediately, beating Stokes twice and conceding just one off his first over. This pressure to hit out resulted in Stokes holing out to long on in the next over.

Shakib then did what he usually does – play the holding job to perfection by varying his lengths and pace cleverly. Since 2015, he averages 38 in the middle overs and rarely strikes in this period. On Tuesday, he pick up the wickets of Tripathi and Samson in the space of four deliveries in the 14th over to leave Royals tottering at 95 for 5 after 14 overs.

This left Jos Buttler needing to do some late damage to haul them close to 150. It proved to be a task too steep as Buttler would chop on to Rashid's slider. That they eventually got what they did was down to Shreyas Gopal's run-a-ball 18 full of dinks and dabs.

Dhawan makes Rahane pay

Dhawan doesn't figure on top of the Smart Strike Rate list, he goes at 114.57, but he's still managed to remain effective for Sunrisers, because they've had the belligerence of Warner to bank on. On Tuesday, Wriddhiman Saha was sent up to open, but fell in an attempt to loft over the infield. Dhawan then took over and played Warner's role to perfection in slamming a 33-ball half-century. This came with some luck, however as he was put down at first slip on zero off the very first over. Looking to flay a Dhawal Kulkarni lifter outside off, he found a thick edge that was put down by Rahane on the second attempt.

Dhawan's first scoring shot five deliveries later also flew over slip. Edgy, he may have been initially but he soon found his rhythm by slamming Kulkarni for a boundary and an upper cut for six off his next over to set Sunrisers on track. This meant Williamson didn't need to flex his muscle, and relied on pure timing and hand-eye coordination to pick off runs. The half-century stand was raised off just 27 balls. It really was all too easy from there.

Courtesy/Source: ESPNCricinfo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here