The Sunrisers Hyderabad are on a roll. The Kane Williamson-led side defended another modest total of 151 at the den of the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.
Winning the toss, Sunrisers skipper had no hesitation in deciding to bat first as it looked like a good wicket to bat on. However, things didn’t quite go according to plan as the Sunrisers batsmen failed to force the pace of the innings in the middle overs. Skipper Williamson top scored with 63 runs to his name whereas Alex Hales also contributed on his IPL debut scoring 43 runs. But Krishnappa Gowthama and Jofra Archer’s terrific bowling spells of 2/18 and 3/26 respectively didn’t let Hyderabad outfit go beyond 151 runs.
The Royals, on the other hand, recovered pretty well after losing Rahul Tripathi early on in their innings. Sanju Samson’s 30-ball knock of 40 kept them in sync with the asking rate. However, things became slow once he departed and Rajasthan ultimately fell short off the target by 11 runs despite Ajinkya Rahane’s unbeaten knock of 63 runs.
Here is a look at how all the 22 players fared in the match.
Sunrisers skipper Williamson walked out to bat after they lost the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan cheaply with the scoreboard reading 17/1 in the third over. He combined in a 92-run stand with Hales for the third wicket in which he did the bulk of the scoring. He was finally dismissed by his fellow countryman Ish Sodhi in the 14th over of the innings for a brilliant 43-ball knock of 63 runs.
Archer registered back-to-back three wicket hauls in his first two IPL matches as he returned with bowling figures of 3/26 on Sunday. All three of his wickets came in the last two overs and those included that of Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Rashid Khan.
He bowled during all three stages of the match — at the start, middle and death — and lived up to the expectations of his skipper and team every time. He registered fantastic bowling figures of 4-0-23-2 which included the wickets of Samson and Mahipal Lomror. He bowled a beautiful penultimate over to ensure victory for the Sunrisers.
Gowtham followed up his blitzkrieg against the Mumbai Indians in the previous match with a clinical bowling performance this time as he registered bowling figures of 4-0-18-2. His scalps included that of the dangerous Dhawan and Hales. He tried his best with the bat too, walking out halfway in the 19th over and scoring 8 runs off 5 deliveries. But other batsmen probably had left too much for him to do.
Sandeep Sharma has filled up Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s void with the new ball beautifully. He registered economical figures of 1/15 in his 4 overs and thus didn’t allow the Royals to get off to a quick start.
Samson looked impressive with the bat once again during his 30-ball knock of 40 runs. He started off his innings by taking two boundaries and one six of Basil Thampi’s over. Then he kept milking other bowlers for cheeky singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard ticking. He fell prey to Siddharth Kaul’s slower ball when he was just 10 runs shy of another IPL fifty.
Rahane played a very good unbeaten knock of 65 runs off 53 deliveries and tried to stay till the end to see his team over the line. However, he probably took too much time and left it for too late. His hard working innings went in vain as it came in a losing cause.
Sodhi had a decent outing on his IPL debut. He conceded 25 runs in his three overs but returned with the all-important wicket of his New Zealand team-mate and skipper Williamson in the middle of the innings.
Hales was brought into the Sunrisers top-order to add much needed firepower to their average batting line-up. Although he did play a good hand of 45 runs off 39 deliveries on his IPL debut, he didn’t turn out to be the hard hitter that Sunrisers were looking for. But he stitched an important partnership for the third wicket with Williamson.
Pathan couldn’t accelerate towards the end of the Sunrisers innings as he was dismissed cheaply for 2 runs by Archer. However, he contributed with the ball claiming the big wicket of Ben Stokes and conceding only 14 runs of his two overs.
Rashid did claim the crucial wicket of Jos Buttler in the middle of the innings but couldn’t trouble the other batsmen. His threat was nicely negated by Rahane who played him beautifully throughout the innings before going bonkers over him in the 18th over.
Saha scored some important 11 runs off seven deliveries towards the end of Sunrisers innings. But again, it was not enough to throttle them towards a big score. However, he pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss Lomror in the penultimate over of the match.
Pandey walked out to bat when Hales departed in the 14th over. The Sunrisers needed someone who could up the ante but he wasted 15 deliveries scoring only 16 runs at a run-a-ball.
He got smashed away for 17 runs in his first over. However, he bowled the last over of the innings very well conceding 9 runs and claiming the all important wicket of Krishnappa Gowtham.
Mahipal Lomror couldn’t do much on his IPL debut as he scored just 11 runs at less than a run a ball during the latter half of the Rajasthan innings and bowled just one over conceding 8 runs.
Stokes bowled pretty well as compared to his previous outings and claimed a pretty good catch as well. However, he was out for a duck trying to smash Yusuf Pathan out of the ground for a six. He ended up being clean bowled by the part time off-spinner.
Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan didn’t have the best of outings today; neither with bat nor with ball. He was out cheaply after scoring six runs and then bowled four overs for 30 runs without any wicket to his name.
Jaydev Unadkat turned out to be the most expensive of the Royals’ bowlers. He bowled three overs leaking runs at an economy rate of 11. His only consolation was the wicket of Manish Pandey in the 19th over.
Rajasthan needed a big innings from Jos Buttler in this match. However, he was dismissed by Rashid Khan on an individual score of 10 runs scored at less than a run-a-ball.
Shikhar Dhawan continued his struggle for the third straight innings coming back from injury. He was cleaned up by Krishnappa Gowtham on the very first delivery of the third over of their innings for an individual score of 6 runs. However, he claimed two important catches at the long off boundary and gave his hundred percent on the field.
Dhawal Kulkarni proved to be totally ineffective today as he conceded 20 runs in his two overs. Batsmen found his deliveries easy to play and squeezed out crucial 20 runs off the two overs he bowled.
Rahul Tripathi continued his poor run of form even today. First of all, he dropped the all important catch of Williamson early on in the innings. Then he failed to contribute with the bat being cleaned up by Sandeep Sharma for an individual score of 4 runs.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor