Rashid Khan flicked a six over the leg-side in the 19th over of the run-chase as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) reached a target of 199 with one over to spare. SRH beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) by five wickets to register their first win of IPL 2019. Opting to bat first, Rajasthan Royals made 198 courtesy of Sanju Samson’s sensational hundred. However, David Warner came out all guns blazing. Warner blasted 69 off 37 balls and together with Jonny Bairstow brought up the 100-run opening partnership in nine overs.
Rajasthan kept pegging away wickets thereafter but Vijay Shankar’s cameo and Rashid Khans’ blitz ensured SRH romped home comfortably.
Toss: Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat first. Rajasthan remained unchanged, while Sunrisers made two changes. Kane Williamson returned to lead Sunrisers in place of Shakib Al Hasan, while Deepak Hooda made way for Shahbaz Nadeem.
First innings: Rajasthan’s decision to bat first didn’t go according to plan, at least, in the powerplay as the visitors scored 35 runs in the first six overs and lost two wickets. Introduced into the attack in the fourth over, Rashid Khan (1/24) struck with only his second ball, cleaning up dangerman Buttler around his legs.
Great effort from the boys to come back strongly after the last game and register the @SunRisers ‘ highest ever successful run chase in the IPL. Top class bowling from Rashid & some brilliant strokeplay from Warner, Bairstow & Vijay Shankar. May we keep up this momentum #SRHvRR pic.twitter.com/jPIhzk5F9f
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 29 March 2019
After Buttler’s dismissal, skipper Rahane was joined at the crease by Samson and the duo played cautiously without taking any undue risk to take Rajasthan forward. While Rahane played the anchor’s role, Samson opened up and scored freely. Both Rahane and Samson paced their innings to perfection, as after playing cautiously initially, they broke their shackles when needed and notched up the team’s 100 in 11.5 overs.
Rahane led from the front with 49-ball 70 and together with Samson shared 119 runs for the second wicket to set the base for the total. Towards the end, Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 45 runs while Samson remained unbeaten on 102 off 55 balls.
Second innings: Chasing a stiff target, SRH were off to a flier with Warner going all guns blazing. The southpaw did not allow the bowlers to settle down and brought up his fifty in just 26 balls as Hyderabad raced to 69 in six overs. Jonny Bairstow played the anchors role as the duo forged a 100 run stand in 54 balls. However, both the batsmen departed one after the other as RR clawed their way back into the match.
With 82 needed off 54 balls, Vijay Shankar’s cameo (35 off 15 balls) provided the much-needed impetus in the middle overs. But once again the match tilted in favour of RR as Shreyas Gopal snared Shankar and Manish Pandey in back to back deliveries. However, Yusuf Pathan and Rashid Khan prevented any further hiccups as SRH got home with one over to spare.
Gamechanger: Chasing the total, Warner looked in imperious form as he started clobbering the Rajasthan bowlers from the word go. Sensing the demand of the situation, Warner, who hit 85 against Kolkata Knight Riders in a losing cause in their opener, went hammer and tongs from the beginning and struck fours and sixes at will to propel Sunrisers to 54 for no loss after five overs. Together with Bairstow, Warner shared 110 runs in just 58 balls for the opening stand.
But just when it seemed Warner would run away with the game, Ben Stokes foxed him with a perfect short ball as he was holed out by Dhawal Kulkarni at deep fine leg. Warner’s knock was studded with nine fours and two sixes.
Kane Williamson: “A very tough game. Rajasthan Royals played really well to get to that total after the start we had with the ball. It was a brilliant chase. The openers set it up for us. A good collective effort, we needed parts to work well for us tonight. Really good experience for us as a batting unit to chase it down.”
Ajinkya Rahane: “First of all, 190+ on that wicket was really good. Initially, when Sanju and I were batting the wicket looked slow – it was stopping and coming – and we thought 150 was a good total. But when players like Warner bat like that there is a very small margin for us. They didn’t lose any momentum when someone got out and they played really well. We all know how talented Sanju is. He will go miles and consistency is going to be the key for him.”
Scorecard: Rajasthan Royals- 198/2 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 102 not out, Ajinkya Rahane 70; Rashid Khan 1/24). Sunrisers Hyderabad- 201 /5 in 19 overs (David Warner 69, Jonny Bairstow 45; Shreyas Gopal 3/27).
(With inputs from PTI)