Heading towards the business end of the tournament, every win matters a lot. Though Sunrisers Hyderabad qualification looks a bit dodgy, this win against Rajasthan Royals opens up the tournament, more than that, it ups the morale of Hyderabad. After electing to bat first, the return of Evin Lewis didn’t last long as he found the fielder at deep square leg in the second over. But, the young Yashasvi Jaiswal and the skipper Sanju Samson, resurrected the innings with a 56-run partnership for the second wicket. Liam Livingstone failed to make an impact yet again as he fell for four. Mahipal Lomror joined with the skipper to hoist an 84-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Samson was the major contributor in that partnership with 52 runs. By virtue of a 57-ball 82 from Samson, Rajasthan posted 164.
Though Hyderabad’s record while chasing in the past has been a worry, they kept aside all those and came out all-guns blazing. For the second time this season, David Warner was dropped and why wouldn’t they when the Australian is struggling to put runs on board. His replacement, Jason Roy made full use of his absence and forged a 57-run opening partnership with Wriddhman Saha within the powerplay. With a fantastic start, Kane Williamson had the time to get settled in. While Roy 60 runs off 42 balls, the skipper Williamson constructed an unbeaten 41-ball knock of 51 to drive Hyderabad to win after five successive losses. Here are some of the notable stats from Match 40:
Bhuvneshwar bags his 50th in Powerplay
There are very few Indian bowlers who are conventional swing bowlers and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of them. In match 40 against Rajasthan, Bhuvneshwar etched a special record to his name with the first ball he bowled. Lewis became his 50th wicket in powerplay and he joined an elite list of bowlers to pick up 50+ wickets in this phase in IPL. His current opening partner with the ball, Sandeep Sharm and Zaheer Khan lead the list with 52.
Samson’s slowest 50 in IPL
Coming into bat early once again, Samson had to steady the innings. Hence, he started off slowly. In his first 30 balls, Samson scored at a strike rate of 106.7. Though he picked up the pace heading towards the end, when Samson reached his half-century he had played 41 balls. This is his joint slowest 50 in IPL. His other 41-ball half-century came against the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants in 2017.
Finally, the consistent Samson steps out
The real problem of Samson in every season of IPL has been the failure to carry-forward the promise shown in the first half. However, this season, the ghosts of the past have diminished. In the 10 matches played in IPL 2021, Samson has scored 433 runs at an average of 54.1 with six scores of 40+. This is not only his personal best in a season, it is also the most 40+ scores by a Rajasthan captain in an IPL season.
Samson joins an elite list
The extra responsibility of captaining the team hasn’t hampered Samson’s batting. In fact, it has made him better. Following up on his unbeaten knock of 70 against Delhi Capitals, Samson backed it up with yet another 82. He became only the third Rajasthan skipper to feature the record of scoring back-to-back half centuries. Steve Smith in 2019 and 2020 and Rahul Dravid in 2013 are the other two. With three 50+ scores in this season that includes a 100, Samson is now the proud owner of the Orange Cap.
Samson loves scoring against Hyderabad
Every batsman or a bowler has a team that he loves to score or pick wickets. For Samson, one of those teams has been the Hyderabad franchise. He has scored over 600 runs against them in IPL at an average of 43.9. In terms of runs, Samson has scored 635 runs against Punjab Kings, which is his best. But, against Hyderabad, his 615 runs are the most by a batsman. He surpassed Shane Watson’s tally of 566 in his knock of 82.
Hyderabad off to a flyer
A start that Hyderabad were longing for, came at last. Though it’s a tad too late, there were few positives in their start. The opening combination of Saha and Roy at the start hoisted 57 runs in the first five overs. Even after the dismissal of Saha in the first ball of the sixth over, Hyderabad managed to add six more runs and take their tally to 63. Hence, registering their best powerplay score of this season. Their previous best of 57/0 came against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan in the reverse fixture.
Roy roars on his debut
Replacing a player who has been the Goliath of Hyderabad – Warner – Roy had a lot of weight on his shoulders to perform. But, the way he scored his runs, it didn’t seem like there was any. In his debut innings for Hyderabad, Roy registered a half-century in Hyderabad colors and his second in IPL. He became the second Hyderabad batsman after Shikhar Dhawan against Chennai Super Kings in 2013 to register a fifty on debut innings for the franchise.
Samson’s yet another 50+ ends up in a loss
After a barrage of records in the first innings, Samson ends up with one he didn’t wish for. In the IPL 2021, Samson has scored three 50+ scores and to his bad fate, all of them have ended in losses. To add slat his wound, his three 50+ scores in this season speak – 119 vs PBKS, 70*vs DC & 82 vs SRH – these are also the top three highest scores for a Rajasthan captain in losses. Today’s score of 82 is the second highest. He also joins Dravid in the list of most 50+ scores for a Rajasthan captain in losses (3).