Visakhapatnam: Rajasthan Royals registered their fourth consecutive win in IPL 8 with a six wicket win over Sunriser Hyderabad in their match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Thursday.
Chasing 128 to win, Rajasthan rode on a steady innings by opener Ajinkya Rahane to get to victory. Rahane who scored a solid 62 from 56 balls, which included nine boundaries. But he departed with 10 runs needed off 8 balls. There were some tense moments after Rahane's departure, but James Faulkner and Stuart Binny saw their team through in the end.
It though was kind of inevitable with SRH having scored the lowest team total in the tournament so far.
Dhawal Kulkarni of Rajasthan Royals celebrates after claiming the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan of Sunrisers Hyderabad during their IPL 2015 match in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. Pic/PTI
Earlier, a tight bowling performance by the Rajasthan Royals helped them restrict the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a mere 127/5 in 20 overs.
Put in to bat by Royals skipper Steven Smith, the Sunrisers never got any partnership going as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Leg spinner Pravin Tambe (2-21), the oldest player of the tournament at 43, and medio Dhawal Kulkarni (2-9) were the star performers as the duo made sure they kept the Sunrisers' run rate in check. Together they bowled seven overs, taking four wickets and giving away only 30 runs.
There were a few mediocre performances from Sunrisers batsman. Captain David Warner (21), wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha (25), Eoin Morgan (27) and Ravi Bopara (23 not out) all got starts but none of them were able to play the anchor's innings to take the home team to a challenging total.
SRH did not have the best of starts after losing their top four batsmen for just 35 runs but a 52-run fourth wicket partnership between Ojha and Morgan did put a stop to the wicket-fall though only for a while.
Opener Dhawan was the first to go after being caught behind off Kulkarni post a scratchy 10-run stay at the crease.
Skipper Warner was unlucky after Rahane ended the in-form opener's blitz in the middle with a direct throw to run him out.
Kulkarni kept the good work going after trapping Lokesh Rahul LBW for 2 as SRH looked wobbly on their second home ground.
SRH nearly lost another wicket in the 11th over when Ojha mistimed a pull to be caught by Sanju Samson, but the TV replays showed that James Faulkner had bowled a no-ball.
To add to the misery of the bowler, Ojha hit the next ball for a six and also got a boundary in that over. Ojha though was done in by leg-spinner Tambe in the 15th over.
Tambe struck in his very next over, after Morgan was trapped LBW while attempting a reverse sweep.
In the end, Ravi Bopara (23 not out) and Ashish Reddy (11 not out) did try to get maximum hits in the bag but the RR bowlers did well to allow SRH only 37 runs in the last five overs.