Rahane sees Royals home

2014-04-19 08:35
Ajinkya Rahane (Gallo Images)
Abu Dhabi - Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny were lone stars as the Rajasthan Royals scored a four-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad with just three balls to spare in the 2014 Indian Premier League clash at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Rahane and Binny were the only batsmen to score double figures as the Royals ended on 135 for six in reply to the Sunrisers’ 133 for six.

Rahane was watchful and patient as the opening right-handed batsman faced 53 deliveries for his 59 which included six boundaries. But Rahane was given a life on 10 when Aaron Finch dropped Rahane at first slip off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-21).

Rahane and Binny (48 not out) added 77 for the fourth wicket after Dale Steyn (2-29), Kumar and Ishant Sharma (1-29) had reduced Rajasthan to 31 for three at the start of the seventh over.

Abhishek Nayar (four) struck a boundary off the first ball of the chase but then Steyn got a delivery to straighten and the ball cannoned into the Nayar’s pads.

Sanju Samson (three) was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Kumar at mid-off and Shane Watson (three) edged Sharma to Lokesh Rahul behind the stumps.

The Royals were cruising to victory with Rahane and Binny at the crease but two late wickets by Amit Mishra (2-26) and one by Steyn had the butterflies going in the Rajasthan dressing room.

Mishra had Rahane caught by Finch at long-off and then Brad Hodge (one) caught by Darren Sammy on the deep mid-wicket boundary.

Steyn then removed Rajat Bhatia (four), also caught by Finch, in the penultimate over with Rajasthan needing 13 off nine balls. But it was James Faulkner (eight not out) who struck the only two balls he faced for boundaries to end the game.

Earlier, Hyderabad had posted 133 for six in their 20 overs thanks to a 75-run partnership for the second wicket between Dhawan (38) and David Warner (32).

The Royals’ bowlers strangled the Sunrisers’ batting line-up with Bhatia taking 2-22 in his fours overs. Dhawal Kulkarni claimed 2-23 while Kane Richardson grabbed a brace for 25 runs to go with the three catches he claimed while fielding.

The Sunrisers lost Finch in the first over for two before Dhawan and Warner rebuilt the innings. But both batsmen were given lives by Faulkner with only Dhawan making his count.

The Hyderabad captain was dropped by Faulkner off his own bowling when on 11. But Warner was not able to add to his total of 32 when Faulkner dropped his Australian teammate off the bowling of Pravin Tambe (0-23).

Rahul (20) struck one boundary and a six before holing out to Rahane on the mid-wicket boundary off Kulkarni. Karn Sharma (four) wasted five deliveries as the batsmen struggled to score runs on a pitch that saw over 400 runs scored in the previous game.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: AJ Finch, S Dhawan(capt), DA Warner, KL Rahul (wk), DJG Sammy, Y Venugopal Rao, KV Sharma, DW Steyn, A Mishra, B Kumar, I Sharma

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: AM Rahane, SR Watson (capt), SV Samson (wk), STR Binny, BJ Hodge, AM Nayar, JP Faulkner, R Bhatia, KW Richardson, DS Kulkarni, PV Tambe


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