Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s four-wicket haul scuttles the Royals chase in a low-scoring encounter
Sunrisers Hyderabad brought its bowling supremacy to the fore and outplayed Rajasthan Royals by 32 runs in the presence of an impressive turn-out for a Pepsi IPL-7 match at Motera here on Thursday.
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (four for 14) set things rolling by removing Ajinkya Rahane, with a helping hand from David Warner at gully. Then Sanju Vishwanadh lifted Dale Steyn straight down the ground for the first six of the match, and raised hopes for his team. But Sunrisers got its act together and soon reduced the home team to 41 for four.
The fifth wicket pair in Stuart Binny and Steve Smith put on a 37-run stand. But Warner’s direct hit at the stumps that resulted in Binny’s exit, and thereafter a charge from Steyn that removed Smith changed the script the Sunrisers favour.
It was the Sunrisers’ third win in seven matches.
Earlier, the Sunrisers flattered to deceive with the bat after Shikhar Dhawan put the Royals bowlers through the wringer in the PowerPlay overs. The left-hander was a trifle lucky to survive the first ball of the match from Kane Richardson; Dhawan’s under-edge went wide of the ’keeper, and the ball raced away for the first boundary of the match.
Dhawan cut and carved shots through point, punched off the front-foot to the cover boundary, stepped out to split bowler and mid-on and pulled over short fine-leg.
The flurry of shots from Dhawan saw the Sunrisers touch a run-rate of 8.33 after six overs.
Dhawan departed when Watson managed to dislodge the bails beating the bat and brushing the outside of the off-stump. Dhawan’s robust undertaking was the glorious part of the Sunrisers campaign after being put into bat; what followed was depressing and dismal, with the batsmen unable to break out of the shackles.
Medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia and leg-spinner Pravin Tambe sent down four overs each on the trot, conceding just 45 runs at 5.62 and, most importantly, dispatching four batsmen.
Watson returned to bowl his second over and dismissed Moises Henriques and Karn Sharma off successive deliveries. Steyn however denied the Australian the hat-trick.
It was eventually left to Irfan Pathan to set the Royals a target that would require them to score over six-an-over.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan b Watson 33 (20b, 7x4), Aaron Finch c Rahane b Bhatia 9 (10b, 1x4), K.L. Rahul b Bhatia 18 (18b, 2x4), Naman Ojha b Bhatia 17 (19b, 1x4), David Warner st. Sanju b Tambe 6 (7b), Moises Henriques c Rahane b Watson 9 (13b, 1x4), Irfan Pathan (not out) 21 (21b, 2x4), Karn Sharma c Sanju b Watson 0 (1b), Dale Steyn run out 9 (8b, 1x4), Amit Mishra run out 0 (2b), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (not out) 0 (1b); Extras (b-5, lb-5, w-2): 12; Total (for nine wkts. in 20 overs): 134.
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Dhawan), 2-55 (Finch), 3-67 (Rahul), 4-85 (Warner), 5-89 (Ojha), 6-106 (Henriques), 7-106 (Karn), 8-125 (Steyn), 9-129 (Mishra).
Rajasthan Royals bowling: Kane Richardson 4-0-28-0, Dhawal Kulkarni 2-0-19-0, Shane Watson 2-0-13-3, James Faulkner, 4-0-20-0, Rajat Bhatia 4-0-23-3, Pravin Tambe 4-0-21-1.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane c Warner b Bhuvneshwar 0 (3b), Karun Nair c Ojha b Steyn 12 (9b, 3x4), Sanju Vishwanadh b Karn 16 (16b, 1x4, 1x6), Shane Watson c Ojha b Henriques 11 (10b, 1x4), Stuart Binny run out 12 (19b), Steve Smith c Irfan b Steyn 22 (33b), Rajat Bhatia c Warner b Bhuvneshwar 4 (8b), James Faulkner c Finch b Bhuvneshwar 4 (6b), Kane Richardson c & b Bhuvneshwar 1 (2b), Dhawal Kulkarni (not out) 7 (6b, 1x4), Pravin Tambe c Steyn b Irfan 3 (7b); Extras (b-4, lb-1, w-5): 10, Total (in 19. 5 overs): 102.
Fall of wickets: 0-1 (Rahane), 2-27 (Nair), 3-37 (Sanju), 4-41 (Watson), 5-78 (Binny), 6-82 (Smith), 7-89 (Faulkner), 8-89 (Bhatia), 9-91 (Richardson).
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-14-4, Dale Steyn 4-0-31-2, Karn Sharma 4-0-20-1, Moises Henriques 2-0-11-1, Amit Mishra 4-0-13-0, Irfan Pathan 1.5-0-8-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 32 runs.