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PIX: Spinners guide SRH past Royals; set up KKR final

Last updated on: May 25, 2024 00:21 IST
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Images from the Qualifier 2 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Tom Kohler-Cadmore. Photograph: BCCI

Unfancied spin twins Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed spun a web around Rajasthan Royals' batters to power Sunrisers Hyderabad to an emphatic 36-run victory, in the IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 match, on Friday.


In Sunday's final in Chennai, SRH will take on KKR, in a rematch of the Qualifier 1 match which the latter had won by eight wickets.

Chasing a target of 176, Royals finished on 139/7 as SRH made it to their IPL final after 2016 and 2018.

On a slow track that offered significant turn and grip, Abhishek (2/24 in 4 overs) and Shahbaz (3/23 in 4 overs) ran through the Royals' batting line-up, picking up five wickets for 27 runs in space of 35 balls.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma celebrates the wicket of Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson. Photograph: BCCI

From a comfortable 65/1 in the eighth over, Royals slipped to 92/6 in the 14th over as SRH took control of the contest courtesy of their spinners.

Their combined figures of 5/47 in eight overs completely overshadowed the celebrated Royals' duo of Ravichandran Ashwin (0/43 in 4 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal (0/34 in 4 overs), who were hit for 77 runs in their quota of overs.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Tom Kohler-Cadmore. Photograph: BCCI

Abhishek, who had bowled only three overs in 15 games prior to his game, got the ball to turn sharply, while Shahbaz also managed to extract a lot of help.

Jaiswal stroked a quickfire 42 from 21 balls before he looked to attack Shahbaz Ahmed but holed out to the fielder at long-off. In the next over, Abhishek got the key wicket of Royals captain Sanju Samson for 10, who miscued the pull shot and was caught by Aiden Markram running to his right from long-on.

IMAGE: Dhruv Jurel hits out. Photograph: BCCI

Shahbaz left Royals in further strife with the wickets of Riyan Parag (6) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) in his third over before Abhishek put SRH on course as he bagged the key wicket of the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer, who was bowled for four, in the 14th over.

Dhruv Jurel stroked a quickfire 56 not out off 35 balls to save Royals the blushes with his attacking approach in the death overs.

It must be mentioned that the highly-rated Samson, again failed to score on days when it mattered. Samson's failures on big days have been his biggest undoing and Royals expected a much better effort from their skipper.

IMAGE: Heinrich Klaasen is bowled by Sandeep Sharma during the IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 match in Chennai on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Klaasen's vital knock of 50 from 34 balls, with four sixes, took Sunrisers Hyderabad to a competitive total despite Sandeep Sharma and Avesh Khan chipping away at the wickets.

Trent Boult (3/45) started the slide in the Powerplays, while Sandeep choked the SRH batters in the middle overs and Avesh Khan was menacing at the death (3/27) as he has been throughout the tournament.

IMAGE: Sandeep Sharma celebrates the wicket of Heinrich Klaasen. Photograph: BCCI

But it was the canny Sandeep (2/25 in 4 overs), who took pace off his deliveries to good effect, with four SRH batters mistiming their shots to the fielder at short thirdman.

Yuzvendra Chahal manning the slot took three catches while Ravichandran Ashwin also got one at the same position.

IMAGE: Heinrich Klaasen celebrates his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

The problem that SRH batters, including the in-form Travis Head (34 off 28 balls), faced was the lack of pace in the surface that became a hindrance while using it for the traditional T20 ramp scoops.

Abhishek Sharma (12) at the start became indiscreet when he played one shot too many off Boult and was caught off a miscue on the off-side.

IMAGE: Heinrich Klaasen hits a six. Photograph: BCCI

The ploy to use Ashwin with the new ball because of his familiarity with Chepauk didn't work as Rahul Tripathi (37 off 15 balls) hit the senior off-spinner out of the attack in the Powerplay.

Just when it seemed that he was taking control on a day when Head wasn't getting his timing right, his poor shot selection while trying to hit Boult over short thirdman became his undoing.

IMAGE: Avesh Khan celebrates the wicket of Abdul Samad. Photograph: BCCI

Aiden Markram's poor run with the bat continued as he got a thick outside edge trying to drive and was caught at short thirdman. However with Klaasen in the middle, SRH were clawing back at 99/3 before Head paid for his profligacy with Sandeep rolling his fingers over.

Klaasen understood that the ball wasn't coming onto the bat and only went for the jugular to the deliveries that were in his arc as he got one of his better half-centuries in difficult conditions before Sandeep produced a perfect yorker to dismiss him in the penultimate over.

With Klaasen's departure, the chances of getting past 200 also went through the window.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals' players celebrate after Trent Boult dismissed Abhishek Sharma. Photograph: BCCI
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