A 78-run opening partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone and an unbeaten 48 from Sanju Samson took Rajasthan Royals to a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday at Jaipur. Opting to bowl, Rajasthan restricted Sunrisers to 160 in their quota of overs with four bowlers picking up two wickets apiece. The run-chase was then completed with little mayhem as Rajasthan escaped from the bottom rung of the points table. Take a glance at some of the key moments from the match:
Sloppy start from Rajasthan fielders
Rajasthan Royals were off to a sloppy start on Saturday with overthrows and misfields resulting in easy runs for David Warner and Kane Williamson. The first ball of the game saw Warner uncertainly tapping it to point and setting off for a single. Liam Livingstone, at point, fired in a throw at the striker's end but missed. There was no one backing up which resulted in the ball running away to the fence.
Off the final ball of the over, Sunrisers milked a triple with Jaydev Unadkat being too casual in the field and allowing a third run. The first ball of the second over almost appeared to be a replay of the first ball of the innings. The ball once again went to Livingstone who had a shy at the stumps and missed. Again, there was no proper back up and the batsmen ran three. A ball later, Varun Aaron let one go through his legs to leak a boundary. The sloppy start in the field allowed Sunrisers some easy runs early on.
David Warner's uncharacteristic knock
David Warner is the top run-scorer this season and that too by a fair distance. He has over a 600 runs for Sunrisers this year while the next highest has less than 500. Smashing boundaries has been key to Warner's success as a strike rate of 143.76 and a balls/boundary of 6.15 would reveal. Yet, on Saturday, he shed aggression and resorted to nudging the ball around on a slow wicket.
His knock of 37 in 32 balls had zero boundaries, 17 singles, three doubles and as many triples. The Australian scored 20 off 15 balls as Sunrisers made 51 in the Powerplay overs but he was in no hurry to get to the first boundary. Instead, he seemed intent on ensuring a set batsman was out in the middle. His innings was cut short by a brilliant Smith catch but Warner showed he had another side to his pocket-sized-rocket avatar.
Steve Smith's brilliant running catch
Steve Smith pulled off a fantastic catch to send back his Australian teammate Warner. On 37 off 31 balls, Oshane Thomas delivered a pacy back of a length delivery at Warner which the batsman looked to hit flat by backing away. The extra bounce induced a top-edge and the ball gained height but not enough distance.
It still seemed sufficient to clear mid-off but Steven Smith ran back from the position, kept his eyes on the ball all the while and dived full stretch to complete a terrific catch.
Manish Pandey's double dismissal
Manish Pandey smashed his second half-century of the season to take Sunrisers to a good total but his dismissal perhaps hogged more attention than the innings itself. Off the final ball of the 15th over, Pandey was deceived by Shreyas Gopal's googly. The Sunrisers batsman looked to guide the ball away through third man but ran it off the face of the bat to the keeper.
Cramped for room, Pandey lost his balance and lifted his foot from the crease and Samson, who had caught the ball, stumped him and instantly appealed. Interestingly, Samson hadn't spotted the nick and had appealed for the stumping.
The third umpire was called upon and replays showed that Pandey was out caught first and then was also stumped. The first dismissal – in this case, caught by the keeper – holds in such situations and Pandey was ruled out caught behind.
Rajasthan openers take on Rashid
Although 161 seemed a par target given the dew at Jaipur, Rajasthan, in the absence of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, were short of firepower. Livingstone was pushed up the order alongside Ajinkya Rahane and the latter began the innings by taking on Bhuvneshwar Kumar with conviction.
Williamson decided to test Livingstone with spin early and Shakib Al Hasan bowled the second over. After Bhuvneshwar's second over, Williamson turned to his wrist spinner, Rashid Khan, to give the visitors an early breakthrough.
Rahane and Livingstone had other ideas, though. Rahane slog swept Rashid's leg-break over cow corner for six off the second ball he bowled. Two balls later, the England batsman spotted Rashid's googly and thumped him over the same region for another maximum. The Afghanistan spinner wasn't brought on before the end of Powerplays after that 16-run over.