IPL 2018: Rajasthan gets a 'royal' bashing from Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad dish out a clinical performance to 'welcome' Rajasthan into the Indian Premier League fold
SRH's Shikhar Dhawan en route his 77-run knock against Rajasthan Royals during their IPL match in Hyderabad yesterday. Pic/AFP
An unbeaten 77 from Shikhar Dhawan led a David Warner-less Sunrisers Hyderabad to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals here at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium.
Dhawan, who was dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at slip in the first over off Dhawal Kulkarni scored his runs at a strike-rate of a shade over 135. In the absence of the aggressive Warner, it is an approach that augers well for the Sunrisers going forward. Over the last couple of years, the left-hander was striking in the range of the 120s (116 in 2016 and 127 in 2017), but understandably he could afford to play anchor while Warner attacked.
Here he needed to take charge, while captain Kane Williamson (36 not out) played anchor to perfection after the early loss of Wriddhiman Saha who was surprisingly sent to open the innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Siddarth Kaul celebrates the wicket of Rajasthan Royals' skipper Ajinkya Rahane during their Indian Premier League match in Hyderabad yesterday. Pic/AFP
However, it was Shakib al Hasan's incisive strikes in the 14th over that truly tilted a match that had hitherto been in the balance completely in favour of the home team. Like falling through a series of trapdoors, the Rajasthan collapsed from 92 for three to a sub-par 125 for nine after the dismissals of Rahul Tripathi (17) and a well-set Sanju Samson (49) in the space of four deliveries.
In a clinical bowling performance that allowed the likes of Dhawan and Williamson to bat uninhibitedly, Siddarth Kaul supported Shakib ably.
Rahane falls early
Kaul first accounted for the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for a run-a-ball 13 and later came back to dislodge Krishnappa Gowtham for a duck. On a pitch that showed a proclivity to slow down as the game progressed the likes of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were strangled by the Sunrisers, who showed once again that they are a side capable of winning matches on the back of their bowling in a batting oriented format.