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Shahbaz, Abhishek Weave A Spell

May 25, 2024 06:36 IST

IMAGE: SunRisers Hyderabad Captain Pat Cummins with his match-winning spin twins Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed after SRH's win in IPL Qualifier 2 for a place in the final. Photograph: BCCI

Sunrisers Hyderabad's spinners reigned supreme in the Qualifier 2 and orchestrated Rajasthan Royals' exit from IPL 2024 and guided their team to a 36 run win at the Chepauk on Friday, mAY 24, 2024.

SRH Skipper Pat Cummins' gamble to put spinners as their frontline attack against RR's power hitters worked like a charm for them as they moved into the final, where Kolkata Knight Riders await them.

How the bowlers fared on the humid night...

Trent Boult

Trent Boult

Veteran pacer Trent Boult rocked SRH with three wickets in the Powerplay.

Abhishek Sharma started off in his trademark attacking fashion, hitting Boult for a six and a four off successive deliveries before the pacer got revenge. The last ball bounced a bit more than expected as Abhishek looking to hit over the top ends up miscuing it on the off-side and is caught by Tom Kohler-Cadmore for 12.

Rahul Tripathi counter-attacked with a quickfire 37 from 15 balls. He also went after Boult with a six and four off the first two balls of his third over before he perished to the Kiwi pacer.

Boult outfoxed Tripathi with the slower bouncer which bounced quite high. Tripathi, looking to attack every ball, tried to upper cut but got an inside edge and was taken by Yuzvendra Chahal at short thirdman.

Three balls later he accounted for Aiden Markram, who tried to drive a full wide delivery, but got the outside edge with Chahal taking a good low catch.

Boult has made quite an impact with the new ball in IPL 2024, picking up 12 wickets in the Powerplay -- the most by any bowler in the first six overs this season.

Boult had excellent figures -- 3/32 -- in three overs in his first spell to keep SRH in check in the Powerplay. He is the second highest-wicket taker in the Powerplay in IPL history, with 62 wickets, while taking 101 wickets in the Powerplay in T20 cricket overall.

Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma was Royals' best bowler of the evening with tidy figures of 2/25 in four overs.

Sandeep didn't enjoy a great start to his spell as he was hit for a couple of boundaries in his first over, as Travis Head looked to make most in the last over of Powerplay.

However, Sandeep had the last laugh when he dismissed Head in his second over, caught at short third man after mishitting a slower short ball to be dismissed after a slow knock of 34 from 28 balls.

This was the second time in three innings that Sandeep had accounted for Head.

Having conceded just three runs in his second over, Sandeep did well to give away just six runs in his third over as the Royals bowlers managed to build some pressure in the middle overs.

Sandeep came back at the end to complete his spell. Coming back to bowl the 19th over, Sandeep struck with the first ball as he got the wicket of the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen.

He came up with a cracking yorker which swung in quite late as Klaasen was unable to get his bat down in time to be dismissed after a good knock of 50 from 34 balls.

Another perfect yorker followed, but Pat Cummins got a thick outside edge as the ball ran past the wicket-keeper for a four. Sandeep gave away just six runs in the penultimate over.

Avesh Khan

Avesh Khan

Avesh Khan ripped apart the SRH batting line-up with a superb spell of fast bowling in the middle overs.

After getting hit for runs in his first over, Avesh made a terrific comeback when he was called back for his second spell. He derailed SRH in the middle overs with the wickets of Nitish Reddy and Abdul Samad off successive deliveries, in the 14th over.

Nitish Reddy attempted a reckless reverse sweep which he couldn't get in the gap only to hit it straight to Yuzvendra Chahal at short third man to fall for five.

The next ball was a cracking delivery which tailed in sharply from length and Abdul Samad playing away from the body was bowled through the gate for a first-ball duck.

Avesh kept getting better with the ball. In the 16th over he didn't allow the well-set Klaasen to hit any boundaries, giving away just four runs including a wide.

In the last over of the innings, Avesh again made inroads as he dismissed Shahbaz Ahmed, who lofted a full toss straight to the fielder at long on.

The Royals' pacer ended the innings on a high as he ran out Jaydev Unadkat off the final ball. He conceded just six runs from the 20th over to finish with impressive figures of 3/27 in four overs, which included 3/14 from his last three overs to play a key role in limiting SRH to 175.

Shahbaz Ahmed

Shahbaz Ahmed

With the ball gripping on the Chepauk track and with no dew in sight, the SRH spinners made merry

Left-arm spinner Ahmed came in as an Impact sub while batting and contributed a run-a-ball 18 runs to help push SRH's total to 175.

But his real impact was felt with the ball in hand, showing his worth the moment he was handed the ball.

Just when Yashasvi Jaiswal was seemingly set for a big innings, Ahmed struck in his opening over.

Jaiswal came down the track, looking to smash the ball for a six, only to miscue and hole out in the deep at long off.

Ahmed gave just three runs in his next over before he bowled an over that ended any hopes that Rajasthan had.

In his first ball of his third over, he bowled a short ball that bounced high, Riyan Parag who was struggling for timing, got under the ball and played a hard cross-batted shot, he miscued the swipe and was caught at square leg for 6.

In the same over, Ahmed got the Ravichandran Ashwin, whom he had caught behind for a duck -- he cut hard and Klaasen took a clean catch.

Ahmed finished with figures of 3 for 23 and bowled 13 dots in his spell.

The all-rounder has a special relationship with the Chepauk with his best IPL figures coming in RCB colours against SRH in 2021, when he had figures of 3 for 7 off two overs.

Ahmed in this sort of form will be a crucial cog in the wheel for his team in the final against KKR on Sunday.

Abhishek Sharma

Abhishek Sharma

A surprise package, Pat Cummins revealed to the world a new dimension of Abhishek Sharma's talent.

We have seen over the last few seasons, especially this year what he can do with the bat. Before Friday, Abhishek had bowled only two overs all season.

But, in the Qualifier 2 on Friday night he turned on the screws on Rajasthan's batting.

With turn and bounce offered to spinners, Abhishek was introduced in the 9th over as struck soon.

Sanju Samson went back in his crease and tried to pull the length ball. He played towards long on as Aiden Markram completed a good sliding catch.

He kept the bowling tight, and did not dole out freebies to the batters.

With boundaries hard to come by and the required run rate soaring, the pressure kept mounting on Rajasthan.

Abhishek struck in his next over as he bowled one flat and quick on the off stump. Shimron Hetmyer made room and tried to slap it through the off side, missed it and bowled for 4.

In his final over, he got smashed for two boundaries by Dhruv Jurel but that would not spoil his figures by much as he finished with 2 for 24 off his complete quota of four overs.

After the match, the 23 year old revealed that he is working on his bowling with his father. India has a bright star waiting in the wings with this kid on the sidelines.

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