IPL 2018 – SRH vs RR: Sunrisers Hyderabad ace another tight defence after batting slump


APRIL 29, 2018

Brief Scorecard: Sunrisers Hyderabad 151 for 7 (Williamson 63, Hales 45, Archer 3-26) beat Rajasthan Royals 140 for 6 (Rahane 65*, Samson 40, Kaul 2-23) by 11 runs

April 29, 2018: Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2018, Jaipur Kane Williamson struck his fourth fifty in eight games this season – BCCI

JAIPUR – After Rajasthan Royals limited Sunrisers Hyderabad to 151 for 7 on a two-paced pitch, Ish Sodhi, who was making his IPL debut, said the total was “a little under par”. However, this was plenty for the Sunrisers attack that had defended 118 and 132 in their previous two matches. Another successful defence, another win for Sunrisers, this put them on the top of the points table.

That Sunrisers had plenty in the bank, despite losing 6 for 52 in their last 6.3 overs, was down to their captain Kane Williamson’s masterful innings on a pitch where every other batsman struggled. Williamson made 63 off 43 balls at a control percentage of 100 against every Royals bowler except K Gowtham and Jofra Archer, who claimed combined figures of 8-0-44-5.

Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane batted through the chase and scored a fifty of his own, but he never looked comfortable at any point. Basil Thampi, who had leaked 17 runs in his first over in the Powerplay, returned to defend 20 in the final over to show why Sunrisers’ attack is the best in the IPL.

Old-school Williamson, all-new Hales?

In his first tournament after joining the red-ball exodus, Alex Hales watched Luke Ronchi blaze away and held his end up for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). At the IPL for Sunrisers, he was expected to blaze away in the absence of David Warner. After putting all their eggs in their bowling basket for the first half of the season, Sunrisers finally handed Hales an IPL debut in place of Mohammad Nabi. But with the ball not coming onto the bat and Gowtham finding slow turn, Hales sensibly chose to bide his time.

Dhawan, on the other hand, looked to force the pace and dragged a non-turning ball from Gowtham back onto the stumps for his third successive sub-15 score since sustaining an elbow injury. Enter Williamson: New Zealand’s bad-pitch good player. Some balls kicked up at the chest while others fizzed through at knee-height. Williamson was reprieved on 7, when Jofra Archer found extra bounce and the outside edge, but Rahul Tripathi at slip dropped another straightforward catch at slip. Williamson was ultimately dismissed on 63 by a shooter from Sodhi.

In between, Williamson sussed out the conditions expertly and gave the innings a leg-up. He swatted Sodhi’s wrong’un to the midwicket boundary and then systematically dismantled Jaydev Unadkat. He anticipated slower cutters from Unadkat, collapsed his back knee, and laced a brace of boundaries over extra cover. The 21-run over also contained a dinky paddle and a streaky outside edge. The last ball, which was nurdled through midwicket brought up a 32-ball fifty.

Hales simply played around his captain and waited for the bad balls. When they arrived, he worked on placement as opposed to power. Case in point: the pull between deep square leg and deep midwicket off a short ball from Ben Stokes at the start of the 10th over.

Archer, Gowtham at it, again

Hales’ dismissal, however, sparked a spectacular collapse. It was Gowtham who brought out the battering ram to have Hales holing out to backward point for 45 off 39 balls. In the next over, Sodhi trapped his New Zealand captain which a googly that slid low outside off. Archer then took care of the lower-middle order to dash Sunrisers’ hope of a recovery. He bowled Shakib Al Hasan with a pinpoint yorker before removing Yusuf Pathan and Rashid Khan with short balls.

Courtesy/Source: ESPNCricinfo