Sunrisers Hyderabad © IANS (File Photo)
By R Vishal
May 8, 2014
Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s stunning bowling performance helped them beat Rajasthan Royals by a comfortable 32-run win in the 30th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar‘s yet another stunning show with the ball was amply supported by all the Hyderabad bowlers who ran in to bowl and this emphatic victory would galvanise the flagging spirits in the Hyderabad camp. Earlier, Rajasthan skipper Shane Watson’s superb hat-trick, coupled with useful contributions from Rajat Bhatia and Pravin Tambe restricted Hyderabad to 134 for nine after the they were put into bat first. At that point the score looked under-par and the Rajasthan camp were delighted.
Defending a modest total of 136, Bhuavaneshwar Kumar got Hyderabad off to a rollicking start with Ajinjya Rahane’s cut shot landing straight to the fielder at point and a match was on. Only two runs came of the first over. With Dale Steyn steaming in the second over, sensing blood Sanju Samson led a counter-attack and smashed the pacer for a boundary down the ground for a boundary. Karun Nair trickled the ball down to fine leg for yet another four.
Samson was growing in confidence, which was epitomised by an monstrous six of Dale Steyn, which was straight back 0ver the bowler’s head. Karun Nair was getting on the act with a flick of the wrists for a boundary but ended up nicking the ball after a hint of away swing from the South African maverick nicked the ball to the keeper. Rajasthan needed to settle down but Hyderabad came with a plan and were executing it to perfection. Soon after Sanju Samson was completely outfoxed by Karn Sharma’s leg-spinners after a bloodrush and Shane Watson could not translate his batting pyrotechnics after Moises Henriques. With the last recognised batting pair — Steven Smith and Stuart Binny at the crease, Rajasthan banked on the pair to get them runs with Rajasthan’s hopes fading away.
The batsmen briefly steadied the ship before Binny committed hara-kiri and the Karnataka all-rounder fell short of the ground comfortably. More troubles lay as Steven Smith had a moment of madness and holed out in the deep and wickets kept tumbling after the excellent Bhuvaneshwar’s slow ones and away swingers had the batsmen throwing their wickets away. The final wicket partnership of Pravin Tambe and Dhawal Kulkarni took Rajasthan over the hundred mark before Steyn’s catch brought down the curtains on the innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 134 for 9 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 33, KL Rahul 18, Irfan Pathan 21* ; Shane Watson 3 for 13, Rajat Bhatia 3 for 23) beat Rajasthan Royals 102 (Karun Nair 12, Sanju Samson 16, Steven Smith 22; Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 4 for 14; Dale Steyn 2 for 31) by 32 runs.
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(R Vishal is a journalist and alumni of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)