David Warner, VIVO IPL’s most successful foreign batsman, celebrated the end of his 12-month ban with a stunning innings to set up Sunrisers Hyderabad’s first victory of 2019, a five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, also firing them to their highest successful chase in the competition’s history. In doing so, Warner also upstaged Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson’s superb first-innings century on a night 399 runs were scored in 39 completed overs.
RR captain Ajinkya Rahane had no hesitation in electing to bat after winning the toss on a batting-friendly wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad and were looking to press on right from the start. SRH, however, had welcomed captain Kane Williamson back to the team after he missed their opening game with a shoulder injury, and made a telling contribution by introducing leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the fourth over of the innings, as he struck with the second ball of his over to bowl Jos Buttler round his legs.
SRH, however, would go on to take just one more wicket in the remaining overs as Rahane, along with Samson, put on a batting masterclass, adding 119 runs for the second wicket from just 75 balls. The duo first settled in, rotated strike before both tore into the SRH bowlers, with Samson particularly severe on strike bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, taking him for 24 runs in an over.
SRH needed a perfect start to their innings, and it was provided by the blade of Warner, who struck the first ball of the innings for a boundary, before tearing into every RR bowler, before Bairstow also joined in. The opening pair added 110 runs inside the first 10 overs before Warner perished, and Bairstow followed soon after for 45.
The home side had a mini-collapse in the middle overs with Williamson, Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey falling in quick succession, but Yusuf Pathan and Rashid Khan ensured no further hiccups as the duo knocked off the remaining runs with an over to spare, made possible only by the rollicking start provided by Warner and Bairstow.
Standout batting performance
Sanju Samson’s second VIVO IPL century was one full of elegance and deft touches, as the RR batsman toyed with the SRH bowlers after settling in. Even as his captain struggled to get going early on, Samson took on the bowlers, allowing his partner to get set before unleashing a range of strokes to dismantle the SRH bowling attack. Samson’s assault towards the end meant RR scored 76 runs from their last five overs, which included the assault on their best bowler. A 55-ball unbeaten 102 from any other batsman would have included way more sixes, but Samson had only hit four but had 10 exquisite boundaries to accompany the big hits.
SRH needed an equally good, if not better, start to their run chase, and it was provided by David Warner. The Australian opener looked in a destructive mood right from the start, taking 14 runs off the opening over of the innings that included a vicious pulled six. The runs continued to flow as he flayed Ben Stokes to four boundaries in the fifth over, and bossed the run chase by running hard between the wickets. His 37-ball 69 was the bedrock on which the SRH run chase was built on.
Notable Support Act - Batting
Ajinkya Rahane was a picture of composure and solidity during his 49-ball 70 in the RR innings, setting up a solid platform upon which his team finished on a solid 198-2. Just four boundaries and three sixes meant Rahane did the bulk of his scoring by running hard between wickets, and rotating strike with the harder-hitting Samson at the other end. Rahane, however, took over the role of the aggressor in the middle overs to set RR up for a late flourish.
The SRH innings needed more than one batsman to fire to be able to chase down a total nearing 200, and Jonny Bairstow provided just the partnership his side needed at the start of their run chase. Warner appeared to have farmed the strike in the first few overs, but Bairstow took on Joffra Archer’s second over by flaying him for three boundaries as SRH took 69 from the Powerplay. Bairstow read the spin well and continued to attack from the other end, not letting the asking rate climb to ensure the run chase was on track. By the time Bairstow was dismissed, SRH’s 10-runs-per-over asking rate had come down to 9, and the batsmen that followed were able to bring it down even further.
Standout bowling performance
Rashid Khan’s introduction into the bowling made for immediate impact for SRH, as the leg-spinner bowled Jos Buttler around his legs with the second ball of his opening over. The bowler’s quick-arm action, coupled with his variety of deliveries meant the RR batsman found it difficult to attack him and had to go after every other bowler in the SRH line-up.
Shreyas Gopal doesn’t quite have the same press going behind him as Rashid Khan, but the RR leg-spinner produced a fine spell of bowling which, just like Samson’s century earlier, didn’t quite deserve to end up on the losing side. Despite going for 9 and 12 from his first two overs, Gopal returned, removed Bairstow, and then dismissed Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey off successive deliveries to keep RR within a fighting chance of winning the game to finish with figures of 3-27.
Stat of the Match:
This was SRH's highest run chase in VIVO IPL history.
Out of the last 6 VIVO IPL centuries, five have come against SRH!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar went for 55 runs in his four overs, only the second time this has happened in his VIVO IPL career!
Rajasthan Royals: 199-2 (Sanju Samson 102*, Ajinkya Rahane 70, Rashid Khan 1-24) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad: 201-5 (David Warner 69, Jonny Bairstow 45, Vijay Shankar 35, Shreyas Gopal 3-27) by 5 wickets.
Man of the Match:
Rashid Khan for his all-round contribution of 1-24 with the ball and an unbeaten 15 from just 8 balls.