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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals tame Sunrisers Hyderabad, keep playoffs hopes alive

Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in Jaipur on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2019 08:15 IST
Avishek Roy
Avishek Roy
Jaydev Unadkat, right, celebrates the wicket of Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Shakib Al Hasan.
Jaydev Unadkat, right, celebrates the wicket of Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Shakib Al Hasan.(AP)

It was not the best of starts for Rajasthan Royals. An overthrow followed a misfield by Varun Aaron that went for four early on. The slip-up in the must-win contest left skipper Steve Smith livid at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Saturday. ((Full Scorecard))

The Royals, however, quickly got their act together. Some stunning catches were held to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 160/8, even that largely thanks to Manish Pandey’s 61 (36 b, 9x4), following up on his 83 not out against Chennai Super Kings in the previous game. Smith led the way by diving full stretch to get rid of David Warner, who made a subdued 37 off 32 balls without a four or six. Royals reached 161/3 in 19.1 overs, reaching home comfortably.

Royals made a powerful start to the chase with openers Ajinkya Rahane (39) and Liam Livingstone (44) going for the jugular, raising 78 runs in 9.1 overs. Livingstone, opening for the first time, bludgeoned Siddarth Kaul for 20 runs in the sixth over to take Royals to 60/0. SRH’s trump card Rashid Khan wasn’t spared either. The wily leg spinner got rid of Livingstone, but not before the solid stand. Rahane has played freely since captaincy was taken off him, scoring a century in the last home match against Delhi Capitals. He looked in good touch until he was dismissed trying to dispatch Shakib Al Hasan for a boundary.

Smith and Sanju Samson then joined forces to add 55 runs. Samson was dropped by Rashid Khan in the 15th over before Siddarth Kaul dismissed Smith, but it was too late. Samson’s unbeaten 48 guided Royals to victory. However, they have to win both their away matches to have any chance of making the playoffs.

ALSO READ: RR vs SRH Highlights, IPL 2019 Match 45 in Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals win by seven wickets

Warner anchored the innings to let Pandey play freely. The pitch was slow and the ball stayed low. Pandey, however, was on fire. After skipper Kane Williamson was foxed by a Shreyas Gopal googly, he began with a full-blooded drive for four.

Pandey was simply dealing in boundaries. Oshane Thomas was cut through cover point. Spinners Gopal and Riyan Parag bore the brunt of his stroke play. In the past, the talented Pandey has faced criticism for throwing his wicket away. But Pandey and Warner knocked off 75 runs in 50 balls. At 103/2 in 12.1 overs, Sunrisers were set for a big score.

Warner’s dismissal changed things. The top-scorer in the league with 500-plus runs has been unstoppable. But he made room to hit Thomas, but a sprinting Smith took a diving catch to see off his compatriot.

Royals fought back after that. Pandey fell soon after, thanks to Samson’s fantastic glovework. Pandey’s foot hung in the air fleetingly as he played and missed Gopal, and the bails were taken off in a flash.

Sunrisers lost the plot as their last six wickets fell for 27 runs. Vijay Shankar was caught by Unadkat. Varun Aaron dived at short fine leg but dropped Shakib Al Hasan but the next ball, Unadkat took a brilliant return catch to remove Deepak Hooda. The visitors managed to close their innings with a flourish as Rashid Khan clubbed Varun Aaron in the last over that cost 18 runs.