The Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack once again bowled their team to a convincing win. With the 11-run win over Rajasthan Royals, the Kane Williamson-led team have jumped up to the top of the VIVO IPL 2018 points table.
Ajinkya Rahane’s 65 not out went in vain as the SRH bowlers breached the Royals’ fortress. While the captain anchored the innings, he received little support from the other to chase down the 152-run target at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Maintaining a good line Sandeep Sharma ripped off Rahul Tripathi’s bails to leave RR on 13 for one. Sanju Samson, who then joined his skipper in the middle creamed the SRH attack while Rahane held up one end.
The pair had swiftly taken the hosts to 72 until SiddarthKaul’sknuckle-ball did the trick for SRH to end the flourishing partnership; Samson departed hitting the bowler to midwicket. In the next over, Yusuf Pathan bowling for the first time in the tournament castled Ben Stokes and pushed the Royals on the back-foot. Jos Buttler handed a straight-forward catch to long-off leaving the team on 96 for four.
With 56 runs required of 36 balls, MahipalLomror took guard, but was kept in check by the experienced Sandeep Sharma. While singles and twos were there for taking the SRH bowlers denied the RR batsmen the big hits. Rashid Khan and Kaul too denied the RR batsmen boundaries bringing the equation down to 36 off 18 balls and tipping the balance in the visitors’ favour.
With the pressure mounting, Rahane swept Khan for a six over square-leg, but with the bowler making amends the batsman had to be content with a single off the next ball. RR were battling an uphill task as the spinner kept a lid on the flow of runs. Brilliant fielding by Manish Pandey denied Lomror a six in next over off Kaul and a superb catch by WriddhimanSaha sent him back off the next ball leaving the team 128 for five with nine balls left. With 21 needed off the last over, K Gowtham fetched a boundary off the first ball, however, Basil Thampi denied the batsmen any further hits to the fence and helped defend the total.
Earlier, it was a misfield early in the SRH innings that proved to be expensive for the Royals. Williamson was dropped on 11 by Tripathi in the slips off Jofra Archer. The SRH captain went on to make 63 off 43 balls. The captain had come to the crease at the fall of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket with 17 runs on the board. He partnered with Alex Hales to lay a solid foundation for a respectable total. The second wicket partnership had taken SRH to 109 until the opener was sent back by Gowtham. In the next over IshSodhi accounted for Williamson leaving the side on 116 for three. The rest of the line-up failed to build on the platform as Archer ran through the lineup. The pacer claimed three wickets while JaydevUnadkat picked one to keep the visitors to 151 for seven.
Standout batting performance
Kane Williamson demonstrated skill as he launched into the RR attack to lift his side to a respectable total. The SRH batting had been found wanting in the recent games, but the skipper led from the front as he creamed the bowlers to pierce the gaps during his 63-run knock. He toyed with Unadkat as he dismissed him for three boundaries and dispatched him for six over long-off in one over. After collecting 21 runs off the bowler he sent JofraArcher sailing over long-off to claim six more in the next. The batsman displayed timing and panache as he set-up the game for his side. He was eventually sent back by Sodhi; the ball stayed low and took a faint inside edge through to the wicketkeeper to end the innings.
Notable supporting act – batting
Alex Hales, the SRH opener set the tone of the innings by sending DhawalKulkarni to the fence for a couple of boundaries in the second over. He played the perfect foil to Williamson as they built the innings. Running hard between the wickets they shaped the SRH innings. The opener returned for 45 off 39 balls.
Standout bowling performance
In the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul played a vital role in defending the modest target. The bowler used his knuckle-ball judiciously to create breakthroughs and keep the batsmen in check. He claimed Sanju Samson to end the second wicket stand that threatened to take the game away from SRH and later also accounted for Lomror.
Kaul returned with two for 23 and the second best economy rate (5.75) for SRH. He was ably supported by the rest of the attack. Sandeep Sharma returned with 1 for 15 from his four overs. The bowler kept the batsmen on their toes and helped build the pressure.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 151/7 in 20 overs (K Williamson 63, A Hales 45, J Archer 3/26) beat
Rajasthan Royals – 140/6 in 20 overs (A Rahane 65*, S Samson 40, S Kaul 2/23) by 11 runs
Man of the Match – Kane Williamson for his 63 off 43 balls.