Rajasthan Royals batsman Shane Watson celebrates after winning over Sunrisers Hyderabad during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Rajasthan Royal's co-owner Shilpa Shetty during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Rajasthan Royals batsman Shane Watson plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Hyderabad Sun Risers bowler Dale Steyn in action against the Rajasthan Royal during T20 match at the Swai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. HT Photo
Rajasthan Royals batsman Rahul Dravid plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman D Sammy shares a light moment on scoring 50 runs against Rajasthan Royals during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Rajasthan Royals player James Faulkner celebrates the dismissal of Sunrisers Hyderabad player S Dhawan during the T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Amit Mishra plays a shot against Rajasthan Royals during their T20 match in Jaipur. PTI
Sunrisers Hyderabad player Shikhar Dhawan reacts after his dismissal during the T20 match against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. PTI
Crowds enjoys during the match between Rajasthan and Hyderabad Sun Risers during T20 match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. HT Photo
One would understand if Sunrisers Hyderabad fast bowler Dale Steyn picked up a bat and spanked every batsman in his side. They too would have meekly accepted it.
Here are some numbers to make the picture clear.
In the nine games they have played until now, including the one against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday which they lost by nine wickets after Shane Watson struck a brilliant unbeaten 98, they have scored totals in excess of 135 just thrice, have just three fifties, and only Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy average about 25.
And yet, thanks to superlative efforts from Steyn and Co, the Sunrisers continue to figure among the top four. The following numbers put their performance in perspective.
They have restricted the opposition to below 130 five times, and three of their frontline bowlers have an economy rate of less than 6.3.
The script, on Saturday, unfolded on familiar lines — the batsmen letting the team down again and the bowlers trying to clean up the mess. They plummeted to a new low, gasping for breath at 19 for 5 and then 29 for 6.
Had the bowlers not put their hands up and played around Darren Sammy, the team could have been back in the hotel for early dinner. Australian James Faulkner was Rajasthan’s bowling hero, capturing five for 20.
Sammy anchored the innings to help put up a fighting 144, with Amit Mishra, Ashish Reddy and Dale Steyn all chipping in.
But when it came to bowling, they looked a bit jaded again. Perhaps, the job they had to perform with the bat, under intense heat, left them with little energy.
And Watson, still smarting from finishing on the losing side against CSK despite scoring a hundred, took full advantage of this rare lapse from Sunrisers’ bowlers.
The visitors could still have made the match tough for Royals, but Watson turned it into a ridiculously one-sided affair.
If one leaves out MS Dhoni’s match-winning half-century, few batsmen have managed to tear into Sunrisers efficient bowling machinery. That made the Australian's knock even more special; he deserved a hundred but missed it by two runs.