Rajasthan Royals Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – Highlights

These two franchises were forced to change their captains and lost an important member of their team after BCCI barred those 2 players from playing in the tournament. Steve Smith and David Warner are serving 1-year ban handed over by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball tempering scandal against South Africa. Despite the loss of these two great players the 2 IPL teams looked solid on papers and spectators expected a closely fought match. Royals, making a comeback after 2 years for their role in the illegal betting scandal, is captained by Ajinkya Rahane and Hyderabad is being captained by Kiwi Kane Williamson in the absence of Warner. Everyone expected a fair fight, but the match looked skewed towards SRH at the end as they won it comfortably by 8 wickets.

Teams

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Sunrisers retained the majority of their players in the auction while adding few more names. This game them a set team and they fielded one in this match. Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Billy Stanlake joined as the overseas players in the team with Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The team is balanced on all fronts be it batsmen, bowlers or all-rounders.

Royals fielded Big Bash Hero D Arcy Short, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Ben Laughlin as their four foreign players. Again, the team of Rahane, Samson and Dhawal Kulkarni formed the playing eleven.

Toss: Williamson for Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bowl first against Royals in their home ground.

1st Innings

The game started with Rajasthan Royals openers Ajinkya Rahane and D’Arcy Short taking strike against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. There were huge expectations from Short after his promising performance in Big Bash got him the IPL contract. However, it seemed like the moment got better of him as he departed without much of an effort in 1st over only through a brilliant run out by captain Kane Williamson. The young and promising Sanju Samson took field with his captain Rahane, while he looked little panicked while facing the tall and lanky fast bowler Billy Stanlake. The two-batsman tried to steady the Royals ship and scored 48 runs in the powerplay overs. As soon as the team reached 50 runs they lost wickets, starting with Rahane getting out for 13 runs and Rashid Khan taking a stunner, even he was little shocked by that catch. The big buy Ben Stokes came into the game and went off as quickly as he came to bat. There was some fine captaining by Williamson as he got the leg spinner Rashid Khan on as soon as Stokes arrived at the crease. Stokes had previously shown some weakness towards leg spinners and Hyderabad capitalized on that. Although the wicket went to Stanlake, it was like a group hunting. Soon after ben Stokes departed, Rahul Tripathi (17), Sanju Samson (49) and Krishnappa Gowtham(0) followed. At the strategic time out after 14th over, the Rajasthan team was reeling at 94 for 5 wickets. At the cusp of the game the team four overs to spare and one of the power hitters in Jos Butler at the crease. Rajasthan was hoping for him to use his fire power to take them to a decent total. However, none of that happened and the team ended with a score of 125 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 20 overs. It was a good bowling performance by Hyderabad. Williamson used only 5 bowlers, and everyone bowled brilliantly with Siddharth Kaul shining at the top of the list.

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2nd Inning

Hyderabad team was playing without their ace opener David Warner and we saw and unusual pair in Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha opening the batting for them. Royals looked charged to not to give away this match easily. However, their downfall came in the very first over when the captain Rahane, dropped a sitter at slip, giving Dhawan a sigh of relief. Although, they managed to take the wicket of Saha (5) in the second over but did not get much respite as Williamson came to the crease and started showing off his class. Dhawan hit the first six of the match in the 3rd over. Dhawan and Williamson took the attack to the opposition and hit boundaries at will. Soon the team reached the score of 57 for 1 after the first 6 overs. After the first strategic time out, Dhawan had taken the responsibility of taking SRH home. He hit back to back boundaries to up the ante. Dhawan reached to his 29th half century in the 9th over off just 33 balls. It’s been a good outing for him. At the end of 10th over the team need only 37 runs from the remaining overs. Kane Williamson played a captain’s knock by playing the anchoring role in this partnership with Dhawan. Some lac luster bowling performance by the Royals and Hyderabad got to 100 run mark in the 12th over as the duo raced to a 100 run partnership in the 13th over. The duo then took the team home easily and ended the match in the 16th over. Dhawan and Williamson both went unbeaten with scores of 77(57) and 36(35) respectively.

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It is huge win for SRH and their fans. They put up a dominating performance in the match and never looked out of touch in the whole game. They won the game by 8 wickets and 25 balls to spare. The match was as perfect for them as it was as imperfect for Royals. Everything went wrong for the team starting with the team formation especially the middle order collapse. They need to go back to the drawing board again and introspect over the mistakes they did in all the 3 departments of the game.

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