Sunday, July 21, 2024

IPL 2023 | Rajasthan Royals crush Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs

Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium under flood lights during IPL 2023 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, in Hyderabad, on April 2, 2023.

Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium under flood lights during IPL 2023 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, in Hyderabad, on April 2, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Rajasthan Royals crushed Sunrisers Hyderabad by a massive 72-run margin in a one-sided match to start their 2023 Indian Premier League campaign on a winning note here on Sunday.

Half-centuries from openers Jos Buttler (54) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (54) and captain Sanju Samson (55) propelled Rajasthan Royals to a huge 203 for 5 batting first, and then Trent Boult (4-1-21-2) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-0-17-4) ran through SRH’s batting line-up, sharing six wickets between them to seal the game in emphatic style.

Chasing 204, SRH could manage a meagre 131 for 8 in 20 overs as Jason Holder, playing against his former franchise, returned with figures of 3-0-16-1 while Ravichandran Ashwin recorded 4-0-27-1.

Mayank Agarwal’s 27 (23 balls, 3x4s) was the only bright spot for SRH in the top order while debutant Harry Brook, playing his first IPL game, managed 13 (21 balls, 1x4s) before he was cleaned up by Chahal.

Boult rocked SRH twice in the first over, cleaning up Abhishek Sharma (0) in the third ball and a brilliant catch on his left on first slip by Holder saw Rahul Tripathi walking back for a two-ball duck.

SRH never recovered from the poor start as rampant RR kept making inroads.

Brook fell in the seventh over while Holder got rid of Washington Sundar (1) in the ninth.

In the 10th over, while Ashwin had Glenn Phillips (8) caught by KM Asif, Chahal ended Agarwal’s resistance in the next over to seal the game in favour of his side.

SRH’s impact substitute Adbul Samad remained unbeaten on a run-a-ball 32 while RR’s Navdeep Saini bowled two expensive overs for 34 runs, giving away 23 in the final over of the game.

Earlier, last year’s runner-up side RR made a rollicking start, amassing 203 for five, ripping apart the Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led SRH in their own backyard to pile up season’s highest total yet.

In the process, they also became the first team to breach the 200-run mark.

One of the consistent performers in the IPL for RR over the last few years, Buttler made a sensational start stroking his way to a 22-ball 54 with seven fours and three sixes until his assault was ended by SRH debutant Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Buttler started with a six off Bhuvneshwar in the third over and smacked four boundaries off T. Natarajan in the fifth over to make it a perfect start for the Royals, after SRH stand-in skipper Bhuvneshwar opted to bowl.

Buttler hit three more fours in the next over from Afghanistan’s Farooqi before the left-armer cleaned him up to end the opening stand for 85 that came off just 35 balls.

RR’s 85 for one was overall the sixth highest total for any team in the powerplay while it was also their highest score in the first six overs in IPL history.

The dismissal, however, had no effect on RR’s charge as their skipper Samson teamed up with Jaiswal to add 54 runs for the second wicket, with the team crossing the 100-run mark in the eighth over.

RR, though, lost some steam with regular fall of wickets and it took them the penultimate ball of the innings to get past the 200-mark.

If Buttler was ruthless at one end, Jaiswal successfully transitioned his domestic circuit form into making a strong opening to IPL 2023 with ease.

The left-handed batter brought up his overall fourth fifty in the competition, finishing at 54 off 37 balls with nine hits to the fence.

Farooqi got the second wicket for SRH in the 13th over with Abhishek Sharma taking a fine catch to dismiss Jaiswal.

Overall, RR enjoyed a successful outing with the bat with captain Samson hitting 55 from 31 balls (3x4s, 4x6s).

If RR’s top three made merry with the bat, the young Devdutt Padikkal (2) had no answer to Umran Malik’s 149.2 kmph thunderbolt — in the first delivery of the 15th over — that sent his off-stump flying.

Riyan Parag (7) perished early while Shimron Hetmyer (22 not out from 16 balls, 1x4s, 1x6s) took them past 200.

With four of their six bowlers giving away more than 10 runs an over, SRH’s stand-in captain for the game Bhuvneshwar (3-0-36-0) would certainly have revisited his decision to bowl first.

Natarajan finished with 3-0-23-2 while Farooqi took 2/41 from his four overs.

England’s Adil Rashid was wicketless but bowled a controlled spell of 4-0-33-0.

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