By BV Swagath
Sunrisers Hyderabad with their powerful bowling unit pulled off yet another victory in a low-scoring match on the sluggish pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Tonight they defeated the Rajasthan Royals team by 23 runs to stay alive in the competition.
SRH now have 9 wins in 15 games with a two-point lead over the RCB who have played the same number of matches. With SRH winning tonight’s contest, the Kings XI Punjab have been knocked off from the tournament officially. The fourth spot for the play-offs will be a toss up between the Sunrisers and RCB who both have one match left. If Sunrisers win their last match, they straight away go into the play offs irrespective of whether the RCB win or not in their last match.
It was not an ideal T20 match at all as the batsmen simply struggled to play their shots freely. SRH batting first were in deep trouble at 49 for 4 in 10.3 overs. But they could recover to post a modest total of 136 for 9 thanks to the efforts of Biplab Samantray, who scored 55 from 46 balls (with 6 fours and a six). Darren Sammy supported him with a 19-ball 23. For Rajasthan, left-arm pacer James Faulkner took his second five-wicket haul against SRH in this tournament. He recorded dream figures of 4-1-16-5.
Rajasthan batted too slowly in their run chase with the openers putting on only 39 in 7.3 overs for the 1st wicket. After that it was a struggle for the visitors, especially against the leg-spinning duo of Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma. When Shane Watson departed in the 14th over, the match was as good as over at 61 for 4. Eventually, the Royals could only put up 113 for 9 that too because of a 12-ball 26 from Kevon Cooper.
For SRH, Amit Mishra produced brilliant figures of 4-0-8-2. Dale Steyn was equally good with 2 for 17 in his 4 overs. Apart from them, Karan Sharma and Thisara Perera chipped in with two wickets each.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Sunrisers Hyderabad have won the toss and elected to bat first against the Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. It is a much needed win for the SRH to keep their hopes alive of making it to the play-offs.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (WK), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Sachin Baby, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe, Siddharth Trivedi
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White (C), Thisara Perera, Biplab Samantray, Darren Sammy, Karan Sharma, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma