Darren Sammy's half-century lifts Sunrisers Hyderabad to 144/9 despite James Faulkner's five-for

Rajasthan Royals restricted the Sunrisers Hyderabad to 144 © IANS

Jaipur: Apr 27, 2013

A resilient knock from Darren Sammy helped Sunrisers Hyderabad put on 144/9 on the board after the Rajasthan Royals bowlers were all over the floundering Hyderabad batsmen.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad batting imploded once again, bringing back memories of the mediocrity that came along with the erstwhile Hyderabad franchise Deccan Chargers.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first against the Rajasthan Royals in the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, the Hyderabad batsmen were caught offguard by the Rajasthan bowlers.

The procession started in the first over when Akshath Reddy was beaten in the air to give a massive leading edge off Ajit Chandila. Shane Watson completed a simple catch to sent Akshath back to the dug out.

Kumar Sangakkara, who returned to the side after sitting out for four matches, started with a confident drive through the covers but perished in the next delivery when he gave a catch to Watson at first slip.

Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a fluent 63 against the Chennai Super Kings, perished in the same over. Dhawan cut a length delivery but failed to keep it down and Ajinkya Rahane latched onto a good catch diving forward to leave the Sunrisers Hyderabad reeling at seven for three at the end of the second over.

Two overs later, Sunrisers lost their fourth wicket. Faulkner bowled a short delivery to Karan Sharma who failed to connect the hook shot and Brad Hodge took a sharp catch at deep fine leg.

The Sunrisers lost half their side in the fifth over when Thisara Perera holed one out to Kevon Cooper at long on. Cooper then, struck with the first ball of his over to send Hanuma Vihari back to the hut.

Darren Sammy was joined by Amit Mishra and the due began the rescue work after the side had a nightmarish start. Sammy started well with a lovely cover drive and kept the shots coming at every loose delivery. Mishra rode his luck as he swung his bat at almost everything that came his way. A couple of overs into the partnership, the duo were well set to loosen Rajasthan’s grip over the game.

There were moments when Sammy was starting to give in to the heat at Jaipur. To add to his woes, Rajasthan bowler Siddharth Trivedi frustrated him by taking the pace off the ball and making Sammy work hard for his runs. Sammy spent the strategic time out getting a wet towel around his neck and continued his resilient knock. Sammy and Mishra added 58 runs in eight overs to pull the Sunrisers out of the misery before Faulkner returned in the 15th over and sent back Mishra for 21 from 28 deliveries. This was Faulkner’s fourth wicket of the game that gave him the rights over the coveted purple cap.

Ashish Reddy featured in another cameo, as he and Sammy added 27 off 22 deliveries before a splendid effort in the field from Rahane sent back Reddy with the score at 114 for eight in the 18th over. The next ball saw Sammy score his maiden IPL half-century and dedicate it to his new-born daughter Skai.

He became Faulkner’s fifth wicket in the penultimate over after a fine knock 60 off just 41 deliveries. The final over fetched from Cooper fetched 17 runs as Sunrisers Hyderabad finished with 144 for nine.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 144 for 9 in 20 overs (Darren Sammy 60, Amit Mishra 21; James Faulkner 5 for 20) vs Rajasthan Royals

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(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)