Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2014, Abu Dhabi April 18, 2014

Rajasthan secure final-over victory


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'Hyderabad batting lost it in middle overs'

Rajasthan 135 for 6 (Rahane 59, Binny 48*) beat Hyderabad 133 for 6 (Dhawan 38) by four wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Hyderabad will be sick of the sight of Australia allrounder James Faulkner. Last year, he took five-wickets hauls in two encounters against Hyderabad, and though this time he didn't make an impact with the ball, he secured a final-over victory by coolly cracking his first two balls for boundaries. It completed a day where 205 was easily hunted down in the afternoon by Punjab, but Rajasthan huffed and puffed to overhaul 133.

After Glenn Maxwell and Co. had cruised past Chennai's huge score in the first game of the day, Rajasthan captain Shane Watson had, half-jokingly, said at the toss that he would be happy to chase anything below 200. His team was given a score substantially below 200, but the pursuit was anything but smooth as Hyderabad lived up to their reputation of being tenacious defenders.

Rajasthan sprung a surprise by sending Abhishek Nayar opening, and he began by coaxing the first ball from Dale Steyn through cover for four. That was among the few controlled shots from Rajasthan in the Powerplay as Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma had the ball swerving around under lights. Nayar was dismissed third ball while Sanju Samson barely middled a ball in his troubled stay before chipping a catch to mid-off in the fourth over.

That brought together the key pair of Watson and Ajinkya Rahane. Bhuvneshwar bowled an outstanding sixth over, beating the bat three times, twice with the ball leaving the batsman and once cutting in. Perhaps it was that pressure that helped Ishant dismiss Watson - who had a strike-rate of 227.77 against him - for the first time in the IPL, leaving Rajasthan at 31 for 3.

Rahane played and missed, had plenty of inside edges and outside edges, was dropped early at first slip, was struck on the helmet by Ishant, but he stuck it out through the difficult phase and kept Rajasthan in the game with a half-century. Even that landmark came through an outside edge to the third-man boundary.

Stuart Binny, the only other Rajasthan batsman to reach double figures, took on the weak link, Darren Sammy, early on but with the asking-rate never too high, he made sure he tucked the ball around to keep the score moving - he had only one dot ball in the final 14 he faced. He found the googlies from the legspinners, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma, hard to read but his combative 77-run stand with Rahane kept the game tight.

Rahane finally fell in the 16th over, and Rajasthan's finisher Brad Hodge flailed against spin before perishing for an eight-ball 1. Mishra got both those big scalps, and Hyderabad were sensing a win. Steyn removed Rajat Bhatia, but with eight needed in the final over, Faulkner finished off the game with three deliveries to spare.

Hyderabad's fancied batting, with a top three reading Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner, also had a tough time of it. Though Dhawan and Warner hit 30s, neither could really get going, scoring only at around a run-a-ball. Cameos from KL Rahul and Venugopal Rao took them to 133, though the line-up filled with big-hitters managed only two sixes all innings. Their team mentor, VVS Laxman, felt the total was 20-25 short, but the bowlers made Rajasthan scrap for the win.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    Irfan Pathan should play. Then we can have good bowling attack also.

    Steyn,B.Kumar, Sammy,Mishra,Pathan,I Sharma( if he bowls well).

    Pathan will also help in batting. Venu is also good.

  • Rajeev on April 19, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    David Warner played good little ODI innings with just 1 four. He was never comfortable attempting a big shot even that single four is not timed well.

  • Khan on April 19, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    The main probluem wd sunrisers hyderabad is their lack of confidence. Having naman, irfan and parvaiz on bench is nt fair. Have varity in bowling like mishr as legspiner parvaiz as off spiner 3 fast bowlers.

  • Quamar on April 19, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    Haven't really seen Steyn produce in the IPL like he does for SA... Saw the online vote about Steyn being 'the most passionate player' but I don't think it's true re IPL at all. Think in the IPL those superstar players who really want it are just as important as those with exceptional talent. Otherwise, Hyderabad have a good squad. Sammy should not bowl because SRH have so many other options. Irfan Pathan should play as a batting allrounder. Both Sharmas bowled well. Not sure why SRH didn't hang on to Parthiv Patel and Perera but the top three will fire at some stage. Henriques and Holder should probably get a go and I think would have been more effective than Steyn on yesterday's pitch. Think Mitch's threat to him as the best fast bowler may encourage the real Dale Steyn to turn up...

  • J on April 19, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    SH likely would have won the match if Karn Sharma had bowled his remaining two overs. Accurate spinners, particularly leggies, are certainly needed by all teams to curb overseas power hitters like Maxwell, Miller, Finch etc. Eg. Tambe, Mishra, Karn Sharma, Badree, Rahul Sharma, Chahal etc. CSK have to somehow find a place for Badree

  • sam on April 19, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    Sunrisers 2 major weak spots were in clear view this game.1stly captaincy is big minus.Need a 'strong' capt. to pull through with weak bowling resourses.Yes,SRH are a 1 man bowling unit.Steyn apart rest of the pack-Bhuv,Mish,Ish-are mediocre @ best.

  • Android on April 19, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    RR needs to change their openers. Unmukt chand is the best opener they are having along with rahane. He is aggresive and very positive in his stroke play.

  • N on April 19, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    And the saga continues - 4 dropped catches, 4 lost matches!

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    Haha funny to see some comments about sunrisers... first thing is dhawan captaincy..what he did wrong the first question steyns 19th over is a good decison cause if bhuvi bowls that match could have finished in that over itself... And Kl rahul better than venu he hit a six and he tried a lot on a slow track we cant expect fireworks on this type of track every thing is good just a bad day.....

  • Dummy on April 19, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    The table standings at the end of the first round are very much similar to the standings at the end of the tournament .I expect CSK to come in the top 4 though as they gave done it every time and now they have a more balanced side.They have the best batting after KXIP and RCB if gayle plays

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