Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Hyderabad Sunrisers stunned the Rajasthan Royals by 32 runs in a low-scoring encounter in Ahmedabad.
India pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the standout performer for Hyderabad as he ripped through Rajasthan’s batting line-up with four wickets.
Rajasthan captain Shane Watson would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first after he clean bowled Hyderabad skipper Shikhar Dhawan for a quickfire 33.
Australia batsman Aaron Finch only made nine runs before he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at deep midwicket off the bowling of Rajat Bhatia.
Lokesh Rahul managed to make 18 runs before he was cleaned up by Bhatia.
David Warner failed to have an impact with the bat as he was stumped by Sanju Samson off the bowling of Pravin Tambe for just six runs.
Wicketkeeper Naman Ojha scored 17 runs before he had his stumps shattered by Bhatia.
Australia all-rounder Moises Henriques only made nine runs before he was caught by Rahane at long-off off the bowling of Watson.
Watson struck again the very next delivery when Karn Sharma was caught behind for a golden duck.
South Africa pace maestro Dale Steyn scored nine runs before he was run out by Samson.
Samson ran out Amit Mishra for a duck just two balls later.
Hyderabad eventually finished on 134/9 off their 20 overs thanks to Irfan Pathan’s solid knock of 21.
Watson and Bhatia picked up three wickets apiece, while Tambe chipped in with one.
Chasing 135 to win, Rajasthan got off to the worst possible start as Rahane was caught by Warner at point off the third ball of the innings.
Karun Nair made 12 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Steyn.
Samson managed to make 16 runs before he was clean bowled by Sharma.
Watson failed to save his team as he was caught behind off the bowling of Henriques for 11.
Stuart Binny scored 12 runs before he was run out by Warner.
Steven Smith was Rajasthan’s top-scorer with 22 runs before he was caught by Pathan at mid-off off the bowling of Steyn.
Kumar mopped up the majority of Rajasthan’s tailenders in the 18th over as he dismissed James Faulkner, Bhatia and Kane Richardson in the space of five balls.
Pathan put Rajasthan out of their misery on 105 when Tambe was caught by Steyn at long-off for three runs.
Kumar was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Steyn snapped up two and Sharma, Henriques and Pathan claimed one wicket each.
Watson was disappointed with his team’s performance, and said: “We bowled extremely well. But more than anything, we misread the conditions a bit. I take the full responsibility for that as a captain. We are learning about these conditions, will get better. There weren’t too many bad shots, just that [they were] high-quality balls. They have world-class bowlers.”
Dhawan was ecstatic to have kept Rajasthan at bay, and said: “We didn’t have too many runs, so I said it was up to us if we played like warriors or losers. The boys really responded really well. The wicket turned, Mishra especially turned the ball and also Karn.”
Kumar was named Man of the Match, and said: “Since coming into T20s, I have improved a lot in the death overs. The seam position is my strength in the early overs.”