A match of
significant importance for both teams, it is the Rajasthan Royals (RR), who
have emerged on top and take crucial two points with them, against a Sunrisers
Hyderabad (SRH), who were completely outplayed today. RR started off shabbily
giving away five overthrows off the very first ball of the match. They were
horrendous in the initial stages of the match especially when it came to their
ground fielding, but they slowly picked up their game and in the end, barring
Manish Pandey’s 36-ball 61, they managed to keep everyone subdued.
David Warner, who played his first game without his partner-in-crime Jonny Bairstow for the first time this season, did not find the timing he had all this time. In fact, this was the first time Warner played 30-plus balls and did not hit a boundary in the IPL. After Pandey, scores of 8, 9, 0 and 5 did not help SRH’s cause and after an entertaining 8-ball 17 from Rashid Khan, they stumbled on to 160 for 8 – barely even a par score.
Bairstow’s impact in the SRH team was immense. It was not just his runs, but the pace at which he scored them and making a mockery of the opposition bowling and relieving the pressure on Warner was something SRH missed today and will perhaps continue to do so for the remainder of the matches. Warner often resorted to playing the sheet anchor role with Bairstow around, whch enabled them to bat for a huge chunk of the innings, which inevitable resulted in SRH getting to a match-winning total.
All of RR’s bowlers chipped in with wickets. However, it was Jaydev Unadkat – who had an economy of more than 14 at the death before this match this season – who was their star, finishing with 2 for 26. Warner’s wicket triggered a SRH collapse - they went from 103 for 1 in the 13th over to 173 for 7 in 19th over, which is down to some excellent bowling from RR.
In the absence of Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane (39) had Liam Livingstone (44) as his new opening partner. The experiment worked wonderfully well for RR, as the duo put on 78 for the first wicket – their joint highest opening partnership this season – to set the tone for the chase. It was Livingstone, who took the role of the aggressor, while Rahane did what he does best – knock the ball around and keep the scoreboard ticking.
RR could have collapsed after they lost their openers in a span of a couple of overs, but Sanju Samson scored an attractive 48 not out , and skipper Steven Smith played a responsible innings to take their team close to the finish line. Once Smith holed out in the deep, in came Ashton Turner, who had scored five ducks in his previous five innings, but was OFF THE MARK off his very first delivery, much to the amusement of the RR dugout and SRH fielders, who saw the lighter side of it. Thankfully, Turner did too and carried on with his task of taking his side home to an impressive victory.
RR’s chances of making it to the playoffs has now once again re-ignited with this impressive win and looking more and more dim for the teams below them (KKR and RCB) to make it to the top 4.
Once Warner was dismissed for in the 13th over, thanks to a stunning catch from Smith, SRH’s chances of winning the match reduced by 8%, which was their biggest dip in the entire innings. However, 18 runs off the final over lifted them to a respectable total in the end.
After Siddarth Kaul conceded 14 runs in the 15th over of the RR chase - thanks to stunning strokeplay from Samson their win % went up by 14 and stood at 87, which was their highest spike in the entire match.
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