Sunrisers Hyderabad 201 for 4 (Morgan 63, Dhawan 54) beat Rajasthan Royals 194 for 7 (Smith 68, Morris 34*) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sunrisers Hyderabad took the call of leaving out both their star overseas fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Trent Boult for the first time this season. They shored up their notoriously thin middle order with the inclusion of Ravi Bopara, and then had their four overseas players bat in the top five. The result was a 200-plus total after being put in. David Warner provided the start, Shikhar Dhawan the middle-overs meat with 54 off 35, and Eoin Morgan the finish with 63 off 28, his fastest IPL innings.
Rajasthan Royals lost Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson within the first four overs. Steven Smith made 68 off 40 but had too much to do with little support. There were late blows from James Faulkner and Sanju Samson, but with 57 needed from three overs, both fell to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Sunrisers seemed to have sealed the game. Chris Morris swung Praveen Kumar for three successive sixes to bring it down to 22 off nine, before the Kumars tightened up again.
Starting strongly has not been an issue for Sunrisers, and Dhawan and Warner provided another solid base as they put on 48 inside five overs. Warner had issues with his back and took treatment in the middle, eventually nicking behind trying to hit a third successive four off Watson.
Sustaining the momentum given by the openers has been Sunrisers' problem area but though Moises Henriques struggled to get going at No. 3, Dhawan kept scoring at a healthy pace. There were his usual punches and pulls, and he also resorted to a few reverse-hits before another attempt resulted in him being bowled by James Faulkner.
Sunrisers were 127 for 3 in the 15th over then, and have often failed to finish strongly from such stable positions. But Morgan was to finally do the job he has been picked for several times this season. He was on 18 off 15 in the 16th over when he suddenly accelerated full throttle. Six of his next eight balls went for either four or six as Morgan sped to his half-century in 23 balls. Targetting the straight boundary mostly, Morgan spoiled Pravin Tambe and Morris' figures. The fast bowler came back with a tight last over but could not prevent Sunrisers from going past 200.
The Sunrisers seamers were disciplined at the start of the chase. Even as batsmen kept falling at one end trying to force their way through lack of pace, Smith continued to keep Royals alive. His shuffling created angles and room the others did not have.
After he missed one off Ravi Bopara in the 15th over, the lower order kept connecting with the boundaries right till the end. Two sixes off the last two balls could have forced a Super Over, but Morris managed a four and a single.