Despite Chris Morris’ last cameo SRH coach believes SRH were always in the game
It was a run-riot at the Brabourne Stadium yesterday with Sunrisers Hyderabad coming out triumphant in the end.
The narrow seven-run win helped David Warner & Co stay in contention for the Indian Premier League-8 play-offs berth, while Rajasthan Royals are once again going to take it down to the wire like last season.
SRH’s Eoin Morgan hits one to the leg side during his 28-ball 63 vs Rajasthan Royals at Brabourne Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul kamble
Yesterday, hosts RR had a wonderful opportunity to seal their play-offs spot, but narrowly missed out, leaving them in a position where they now have to win at least one match out of the two. Chasing 202 to win, RR could manage 194-7.
Chris Morris’ 11-ball unbeaten 34 towards the end gave RR a realistic chance to register a memorable win, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was the pick of the SRH bowlers with 3-44, conceded only 10 runs off the final over.
‘Always in control’
Coach Tom Moody felt Hyderabad controlled the game well. “We were always under control. Except for those three consecutive sixes off Praveen Kumar by Chris Morris (in the penultimate over), we always had everything under control,”
First to set the Brabourne Stadium on fire was Shikhar Dhawan, who smashed 35-ball 54. Eoin Morgan, finally living up to his reputation, scored a 28-ball 63 to propel Sunrisers Hyderabad to 201-4 — their highest score of the IPL-8.
The advantage of having wickets in hand helped the visitors change gears as they plundered 113 runs off the last 10 overs and losing only three wickets in the process.
Moody heaped praise on Morgan’s knock that earned him the Man of the Match. “This innings was always in the making. It was a crunch game for us. It will serve as a catalyst going into the business end of the tournament,” said Moody.
Despite RR bowlers being taken to the cleaners, it was surprising to see skipper Shane Watson not introducing Stuart Binny, who claimed 2-27 against Delhi Daredevils at the same venue on Sunday.
Steven Smith (40-ball 68) made the most of opportunity to bat for a longer time after RR’s openers perished inside four overs.
Smith’s 15 runs off Moises Henriques’ second over and 14 runs off leggie Karn Sharma’s penultimate over literally had the crowd on their feet. However, Ravi Bopara’s straighter one which Smith completely missed, brought the curtains down on an entertaining 40-ball 68.
The 44-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Smith and James Faulkner also brought the hosts into contention to an extent. With 57 runs required off the last three overs, the pressure was too much to handle. However, Morris hit some lusty blows to bring the equation down from 40 off 12 balls to 18 in the final over as the South African took 22 runs of the penultimate overs off Praveen.
It seems Mumbaikars are finding it hard to connect with Rajasthan Royals at their adopted home ground, the Brabourne Stadium. Once again, there were plenty of empty seats at the iconic ground for Rajasthan Royals’ second home match here. However, the atmosphere outside the ground was a little better as compared to their match against Delhi Daredevils on Sunday. There were plenty of fans seen wearing the Rajasthan Royals jersey, waving the team flag and painting their faces with RR logo.
SRH: 201-4 (E Morgan 63,
S Dhawan 54; S Watson 2-36) beat RR: 194-7 (S Smith 68, C Morris 34*; B Kumar 3-44) by seven runs
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