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4th Match (D/N), Hyderabad, April 02, 2023, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:204) 131/8

RR won by 72 runs

Player Of The Match
54 (22)
Cricinfo's MVP
88.23 ptsImpact List

Buttler and Boult trigger demolition of Sunrisers

Samson and Jaiswal scored fifties, and Chahal took a four-wicket haul, in Royals' 72-run victory

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
Rajasthan Royals 203 for 5 (Samson 55, Buttler 54, Jaiswal 54) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 131 for 8 (Samad 32, Chahal 4-17, Boult 2-21) by 72 runs
Rajasthan Royals dominated the first half of their batting innings, racing to 122 for 1 in ten overs. And then they owned the first half of their bowling innings too, reducing Sunrisers Hyderabad to 52 for 6 in 11 overs.
The two periods of play proved decisive and led last season's runners-up to a 72-run victory to kickstart their 2023 campaign.
It was all Royals from the first over of the game. Their top three of Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson thumped half-centuries to give their team a record-breaking start: Royals posted their highest powerplay score (85) and also their fastest hundred in the IPL (in 7.4 overs). Even though their middle and lower order didn't fire, the brutal hitting at the top ensured that the Royals posted the first 200-plus score of the season.
The target of 204 was daunting against a strong Royals attack, and Trent Boult killed any hope of a successful chase by beginning with a double-wicket maiden. Yuzvendra Chahal then ran through the Sunrisers with a four-wicket haul. The margin of defeat was a blow to the Sunrisers' net run rate, eerily similar to how their 2022 season began.

Buttler begins like a boss

Jaiswal raced to 24 off 11 balls before Buttler raised his tempo even more, smacking Washington Sundar for successive sixes over midwicket and T Natarajan for four fours in five balls. Buttler then hit three fours in four balls off Afghanistan's Fazalhaq Farooqi to bring up his fifty off 20 balls.
By the time Buttler fell, Royals were 85 for 1 in 5.5 overs. Jaiswal then picked up the pace while Samson settled in; and Samson kept the momentum going when Jaiswal was dismissed for 54. He looked set for a huge score but was superbly caught by Abhishek Sharma on the edge of the long-on boundary for 55.
Adil Rashid's tidy spell in the middle overs, combined with improved second spells from Natarajan and Farooqi reduced the flow of runs. At one stage it seemed like Royals might fall just short of 200, but a late cameo from Shimron Hetmyer gave them 203.

Sunrisers sink fast in the chase

After Abhishek and Rahul Tripathi were out for ducks in Boult's opening over, Harry Brook and Mayank Agarwal had the gargantuan task of repairing the innings while faced with a rising asking rate. It didn't happen. Brook was bowled by Chahal googly, out for a 21-ball 13 in his maiden IPL innings.
Jason Holder got Washington out cheaply with a short ball; Glenn Phillips hit R Ashwin straight to cover; and Chahal returned to cut short Agarwal's innings. Chahal then had fellow legspinner Rashid stumped, and Bhuvneshwar playing all around a googly to have Sunrisers at 95 for 8. Abdul Samad's unbeaten 32 helped them limp past 100, and they eventually finished with 131 for 8.

Impact Players: Samad and Saini

Sunrisers' Impact Player Samad had a better day out, compared to the Royals' Impact Player Navdeep Saini. Samad walked in when Sunrisers were 48 for 5 as a replacement for Farooqi, and held one end up even as wickets kept falling. He reined in his shot-making instincts for the most part, looking to last till the end. He did that successfully, finishing on an unbeaten 32.
Saini entered the game as Jaiswal's replacement midway through the Sunrisers chase and had a tough outing. He bowled only three dots in his two-over spell, and conceded 34 at an economy of 17.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

Win Probability
RR 100%
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Over 20 • SRH 131/8

RR won by 72 runs
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