IPL

Sunrisers stun Royals

2014-05-08 21:14
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AFP)
Ahmedabad - The Sunrisers Hyderabad have put on a remarkable display in the field as they successfully defended a target of 135 to end up surprise 32-run victors over the Rajasthan Royals in their IPL clash at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The supersport.com website reports that a hat-trick from Royals captain Shane Watson (2-0-13-3) - the second in successive games at Ahmedabad - had earlier helped restrict the Sunrisers to a seemingly abject 134 for nine on a decent-looking pitch.

But Rajasthan, who were seeking a fifth successive victory, never got going with the bat as regular wickets intensified Hyderabad's stranglehold, and they were eventually knocked over for 102 off the penultimate delivery of the match.

Only Australian Steve Smith (22) was able to get past the 20-mark in the end, while the impressive Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a trifecta of wickets in the 18th over to finish with figures of four for 14 in his four overs.

Proteas paceman Dale Steyn also chipped in with two for 31, as Hyderabad moved up to fifth in the points table with a third win of the campaign.

For the Royals, the insipid reverse sees them remain in third place having missed out on the opportunity to go level on points with the Chennai Super Kings.

The batting problems for the Royals began as early as the first over, when opener Ajinkya Rahane, in a bid to get off the mark, played a loose stroke off Kumar that found the clutches of David Warner at point.

The in-form duo of Karun Nair (12) and Sanju Samson (16) put on a brisk second-wicket stand of 27, but both fell within an over of each other, and Rajasthan finished the powerplay struggling at 37 for three.

But it was the big wicket of Watson, who edged behind three deliveries later, that really got Hyderabad pulses racing, as the target of 135 suddenly seemed to be a million miles away.

The tide then looked to have turned against the visitors, as first Smith survived a regulation stumping chance in the 10th over, before Stuart Binny (12) was given not out by umpire Nigel Llong three overs later having appeared to offer a thick edge into the gloves of wicketkeeper Naman Ojha - much to the incredulity of bowler Amit Mishra (4-0-13-0).

But justice was served when Binny was brilliantly run out by a Warner direct hit in the 14th over, and when Smith holed out to mid off from the bowling of Steyn two overs later, hopes of a Rajasthan win appeared to have gone as they still required 53 from 26 deliveries.

Kumar then put the nail in the home side's coffin, picking up three wickets in the 18th over, and the comfortable victory was complete off the penultimate delivery when Steyn pouched last-man Pravin Tambe (3) at long off.

Having earlier lost the toss and had his team inserted by the Royals, skipper Shikhar Dhawan (33) led from the front as he disdainfully smashed seven boundaries in his brief 20-ball cameo. The captain, who ended up making the highest score of the match, was first to go after an ill-advised attempted cut shot saw Watson clean up his stumps at the end of the fourth over. Yet at 37 for one, Hyderabad found themselves relatively well placed.

But the crucial wickets of Australian duo Aaron Finch (9) and Warner (6) came cheaply, and the loss of Ojha (17) shortly after saw the innings stagnate to 89 for five by the end of the 13th over.

Moises Henriques, who replaced West Indian skipper Darren Sammy in the starting XI, joined Irfan Pathan (21 not out) at the wicket, and the two were able to guide the score past the hundred mark.

It was slow going though, and Henriques, who'd scratched his way to nine off 13 balls, became the second of Watson's victims as he was snared at long off at the start of the 17th over. The hat-trick was then complete after new-man Karn Sharma edged behind off the very next delivery.

Pathan added respectability to the innings with some defiant strokeplay at the death.

However, the Sunrisers' seemingly below-par performance with the bat was aptly summed up by two shambolic run outs in the final over - the second of which beggared belief. Mishra (0), having swung and missed, was run out with the third attempted direct hit between keeper and bowler, seemingly oblivious to the need to get back into his crease during the exchange of throws.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals: AM Rahane, KK Nair, SV Samson (wicketkeeper), SR Watson (captain), STR Binny, SPD Smith, JP Faulkner, R Bhatia, PV Tambe, KW Richardson, DS Kulkarni

Sunrisers Hyderabad: AJ Finch, S Dhawan (captain), KL Rahul, DA Warner, NV Ojha (wicketkeeper), IK Pathan, MC Henriques, KV Sharma, DW Steyn, B Kumar, A Mishra

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