After five consecutive losses, the Sunrisers Hyderabad are
finally off the mark in the second phase of the IPL in the UAE with a
comfortable seven-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals. The Sunrisers
fielded a new-look XI with plenty of changes, and the fresh faces made the
difference for the Orange Army as Hyderabad chased down Rajasthan’s total of
164 with nine balls to spare thanks to half-centuries from Jason Roy (60 off
42) and the captain Kane Williamson (51* off 41).
Fresh off a defeat against Delhi, Rajasthan managed to score
164 in the first innings largely because of an outstanding 57-ball 82 from
their captain Sanju Samson. Evin Lewis fell early to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but
Yashasvi Jaiswal provided the firepower at the start to help the Royals make 49
runs in the powerplay. However, after Jaiswal and Livingstone fell in quick
succession, the responsibilities of putting up a winning total were solely on
the shoulders of the RR captain.
Samson started cautiously as he managed only 38 from 36
balls, but the right-hander cut loose after the 14th over and shifted through
the gears excellently. Samson played the shot of the night to hit Rashid Khan
for six before taking 20 runs off a Siddharth Kaul over. However, the Sunrisers
were able to pull things back excellently towards the back end as they conceded
only 11 runs off the final two overs as RR finished with 164.
The Sunrisers sported a new-look opening partnership with
Jason Roy making his debut at the expense of franchise icon David Warner
alongside Wriddhiman Saha. Saha gave the Sunrisers an excellent start before
getting out stumped to Lomror, while Roy also joined the action after hitting
three boundaries against Chris Morris as Sunrisers managed their best powerplay
score of the season (63/1). Roy continued this momentum after the powerplay as
he eviscerated Rahul Tewatia for four boundaries in one over to bring up his
half-century before eventually getting out to Chetan Sakariya.
SRH suffered a slight wobble after Roy’s dismissal with
Priyam Garg also falling for a golden duck, but Kane Williamson steadied the
ship alongside another all-rounder Abhishek Sharma to take the team home. The
pair shared a 50-run partnership, and eventually, a 16-run 18th over against
Chetan Sakariya sealed SRH’s second victory of the season.
This win ensures that Kane Williamson’s side can live to
fight another day in this season’s IPL while Rajasthan are still stuck on eight
points with three tough fixtures against RCB, CSK and MI yet to come.