IPL 7: Binny, Rahane help Royals prevail over SRH
Rahane and Binny played gritty innings as Rajasthan beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets.
Result: Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets.
Toss: Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and elected to field.
SRH 133/6 in 20 overs: A disciplined bowling performance from their bowlers helped RR restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to just 133/6.
Having put Sunrisers Hyderabad into bat, Rajasthan Royals got off to a good start as Dhawal Kulkarni removed Aaron Finch in just the first over of the match, caught at covers.
The RR pacers bowled tight lines and lengths first up and kept the batsmen quiet. Hyderabad scored their first boundary in the fourth over when Shikhar Dhawan dabbed one to third man. The pressure was mounting and SRH nearly lost their second wicket when Dhawan drilled one back uppishly to Faulkner but luckily for the left-hander, Faulkner couldn't hang on to a tough caught and bowled chance.
Dhawan and Warner played cautiously and brought up the 50-run stand as the first eight overs yielded just three boundaries. The medium pacers, especially Rajat Bhatia, choked the batsmen with his clever medium pacers and the pressure got to both Dhawan and Warner.
Both departed in quick succession off Bhatia eventually. Dhawan(38 runs, 34b, 3x4, 1x6) slog swept one straight to deep square leg and Warner(32 runs, 35b, 1x4) pulled one straight to deep mid-wicket. After 15 overs SRH had hit just four boundaries and a six. The SRH batsmen never got the momentum going and lost wickets at regular intervals as they could manage just 133/6.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Rajat Bhatia and Kane Richardson finished with two wickets each.
RR 135-6 in 19.3 overs: Defending the total, Dale Steyn provided SRH the perfect start as he trapped Abhishek Nayar LBW off just the third ball of the innings.
The pacers scalped three wickets inside seven overs and reduced RR to 31/3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Sanju Samson who mistimed one to mid off and Bhuvneshwar could have had his second in the same over but Aaron Finch dropped Rahane at first slip.
Ishant Sharma then joined the party sending back RR skipper Shane Watson. Steyn and Bhuvneshwar bowled beautiful spells with the new balls and left the batsmen searching with their outswingers which built up the pressure.
Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny then played cautiously and steadied the ship. With 83 required from 63 balls, Binny released some pressure hitting Sammy for a six and a four in the 10th over. The pair then batted sensibly rotating the strike and added 77 runs for the fourth wicket. Rahane finally perished for 59 (53b, 6x4) but it was too little too late as RR had already a comfortable position.
Brad Hodge came on and couldn't handle Amit Mishra's spinners — the leggie sending back-to-back googlies before forcing him to take the long route resulting in a dismissal. The 19th over went for nine runs but Steyn managed to remove Rajat Bhatia from the equation after he had hit him past long-on for four — leaving RR needing eight to win off the last over. Bhuvneshwar may have had a great first spell, but James Faulkner eked a couple of fours in the last over to give Rajasthan the win. Binny remained not out on 48 from 32 balls (4x4, 1x6).
Turning point: Ajinkya Rahane was dropped on 8 by Aaron Finch at first slip in the fourth over. RR were already two down and their position looked ominous. Rahane went on to bat sensibly thereafter and scored 59 runs to help RR achieve the victory.
Man of the match: Ajinkya Rahane with his gritty half-century formed the backbone of Rajasthan's run-chase.
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