Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) boosted their Indian Premier League playoffs chances with a seven-run win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a nail-biting encounter in Mumbai last night. SRH opted to rest both Trent Boult and Dale Steyn, instead chose to strengthen their middle order with overseas batsmen. The strategy resulted in a high-scoring game in which SRH prevailed after a close finish.
Shane Watson won the toss and put Sunrisers in. David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan set up a quick fire opening stand of 48 runs in 4.3 overs. Watson brought himself in and scalped Warner. Dhawan continued in aggressive manner, first in the company of Moises Henriques and then with Eoin Morgan. Dhawan scored 55 off 34 balls.
After Dhawan’s dismissal, Morgan exploded for the first time in this IPL. He struck five sixes and four boundaries in his 28-ball 63. His fireworks propelled the Hyderabad side to 201 for four in 20 overs.
Rajasthan Royals needed a bright start to fuel the mammoth chase of 202. They did not get one, as both Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson perished cheaply. Royals were reeling at 45 for three in 7.3 overs. They needed 157 runs in 75 balls. That was when Steve Smith decided to counter attack. He scored 68 runs from 40 balls. Once he got out, James Faulkner and Sanju Samson played sparkling cameos to pull off an improbable chase.
RR needed 57 runs from the last three overs. Samson hit two sixes in the 18th over and got out. Chris Morris then hit a boundary and a single to reduce the equation to 40 runs off two overs. Morris then hit three sixes in the first three balls of the 19th over to raise hopes of a dramatic win. But Praveen Kumar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar tidied up their line length to keep Royals nine runs away from the target.
Sunrisers moved to fifth position with this win. Eoin Morgan is the man of the match for his terrific innings.