Shane Watson displayed a brilliant show with the bat to guide Rajasthan Royals to win against Sunrisers Hyderabad today.
The Aussie all-rounder fell short of a consecutive hundred,but exhibited a composed knock to see his side through against a testing Hyderabad bowling attack.
Ajinkya Rahane fell early in the chase,and Hyderabad had their tails up. The visitors bowled well to contain the flow of runs early on,but were denied wickets by some watchful batting by Dravid and Watson.
The duo punished the loose balls and were happy to defend the good ones. The partnership,after a cautious start,accelerated towards the end. Dravid couldn’t bat through,and in attempt to up the ante,picked a fielder in the deep.
It was a lively pitch with something for both the bowlers and batsmen. Kumar Sangakkara wanted to bat first and his side got off to the worst possible start.
The decision to bat first didn’t work out for Sangakkara and Co. as the top-order collapsed early.
Seamer James Faulkner and spinner Ajit Chandila were right on the money,and reduced the visitors to 29/6.
The team was heading towards the lowest ever IPL total before Darren Sammy and Amit Mishra played a rescue knock to take the total over hundred.
Darren Sammy,in particular,applied brilliantly and notched up a half-century to guide his side to a decent 144/9..
Rajasthan will not be happy with their effort during the middle-half of the innings,as Sammy and Mishra scored the runs without any trouble.
It was important to get a spinner against Sammy,but skipper Rahul Dravid used the seamers,which Sammy faced with utmost ease.
After getting picked for the Ashes,Faulkner proved the selectors right by bowling a brilliant opening and return spell. The seamer picked a fifer and ended with brilliant figures of 5/20.
SR Watson,AM Rahane,R Dravid(c),STR Binny,BJ Hodge,DH Yagnik(wk),Sachin Baby,JP Faulkner,K Cooper,A Chandila,SK Trivedi
S Dhawan,PA Reddy,KC Sangakkara(c & wk),GH Vihari,NLTC Perera,DJG Sammy,A Ashish Reddy,KV Sharma,A Mishra,DW Steyn,I Sharma