After 411 runs were scored in the previous match, Rajasthan Royals bowlers did everything right to contain the Sunrisers Hyderabad to 133/6 in the second match in Abu Dhabi. However, despite their top-order batsmen including captain Shane Watson and last year’s find Sanju Samson falling inside six-and-a-half overs, they managed to win in the last over.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane (59, 53b, 6x4) watched Abhishek Nayar, Samson and Watson perish to some ordinary shots and some brilliant bowling by SRH bowlers, particularly Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Kumar sowed doubts in Watson’s minds with some exceptional swing bowling and as a result, Ishant Sharma gobbled him up, inducing the Australian to edge to wicketkeeper KL Rahul for just three runs.
However, Rahane was cautious and put away loose deliveries. He shared 77 for the fourth wicket with Stuart Binny, who saw the Royals home with an unbeaten 48 (32b, 4x4, 1x6).
Earlier, Rajat Bhatia (2/22), Dhawal Kulkarni (2/23), Kane Richardson (2/25) and Pravin Tambe (0/23) bowled brilliantly to suffocate the Hyderabad batsmen after skipper Shane Watson won the toss and elected to bowl.
Shikhar Dhawan (38) and David Warner (32) shared a 77-run stand off 64 balls to set the foundation for Hyderabad but they left the job half done as Hyderabad failed to accelarate in the second half. The Sunrisers lost their first wicket in Aaron Finch when he failed to connect a short and wide delivery from Kulkarni and ended up hitting it straight to Richardson at cover. But skipper Dhawan and Warner made sure there were no more hiccups.
—With agency inputs