(IPLT20) Thanks to an inspired bowling performance – led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-0-14-4) – the Sunrisers Hyderabad registered a 32-run away win against the Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad. Defending a modest 134, SRH bowled their opponents out for a paltry 102.
Earlier, RR won the toss and chose to field first. SRH’s innings was opened by skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Aaron Finch. And while the latter was trying to get his eye in, Dhawan (33) unleashed from the word go. He belted seven fours in an attempt to give his team a flying start. However, just when he was looking set for a big score, Watson bowled him out. At that point SRH were on 37 for one in four overs.
Lokesh Rahul then joined Finch in the middle. The duo brought up their team’s 50 soon after. But Finch (9) then got out off the bowling of Rajat Bhatia in the seventh over. Even Rahul (18) did not stick around too long; Bhatia bowled him out, leaving SRH on 67 for three after nine overs.
And then, in the 12th over, Pravin Tambe had David Warner (6) stumped. The situation did not get any better for the visitors as they struggled to score quick runs while preserving wickets. And Bhatia soon got his third victim of the night when he uprooted Naman Ojha’s (17) stumps. The RR bowler finished his four-over quota with outstanding figures of 23 for three.
Moses Henriques and Irfan Pathan then came together and took SRH past the 100-run mark in the 15th over. However, Watson returned into the attack in the 17th over and claimed Henriques (9) and Karn Sharma (0) off consecutive deliveries to bag a hat-trick – he had dismissed Dhawan off the last ball of his previous over. This marked the second hat-trick – the other was claimed by Tambe against KKR at the same venue – of Pepsi IPL 2014. Sanju Samson then ran Dale Steyn (9) out, after he had added 21 runs for the eighth wicket with Pathan. And soon after that, Samson effected another run-out – that of Amit Mishra (0). In one of the most unusual dismissals in the history of cricket, the SRH batsman failed to make his ground despite two errant throws failed to hit the stumps. However, thanks to Pathan (21*), SRH scored 135 for nine by the end of 20 overs.
In response, RR lost Ajinkya Rahane (0) in the first over itself; he was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Karun Nair and Samson then joined forces, and the duo added 27 for the second wicket. However, Steyn struck in the fourth over to get rid of Nair (12). The Royals even lost Samson (16) off the bowling of Karn Sharma before he could make an impact. Henriques then dealt a telling blow when he had Watson (11) caught behind in the seventh over, leaving SRH on 41 for four.
However, Stuart Binny and Steve Smith then added 37 runs in an innings-steadying partnership. But Warner then ran Binny (12) out in the 14th over to swing the momentum back in SRH’s favour. And soon after that, Steyn got rid of Smith (22) to rock the home side on the back foot. Even the hard-hitting James Faulkner could not resurrect the faltering run-chase; Bhuvneshwar dismissed him in the 18th over. And off the very next ball, the medium-pacer got the better of Bhatia (4) to claim his third wicket of the night. A hat-trick, however, eluded the bowler as Kane Richardson worked the next ball away for a single. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar did claim his fourth wicket, when Richardson (1) handed him a high return catch later in the same over. As a result of his four-wicket haul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar climbed atop this season’s wicket-taker’s list
At 91 for nine in 18 overs, SRH were all but out of the contest. And finally, Pathan finished off the RR innings by claiming Tambe’s (3) wicket. The Royals were bowled out for 102 in 19.5 overs, 32 runs short of SRH’s total.