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Turning point: How Rajasthan's bowlers turned the tide...

By Harish Kotian
April 28, 2019 11:39 IST
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IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals players celebrate the wicket of Vijay Shankar. Photograph: BCCI

Sunrisers Hyderabad appeared to be racing towards a huge total before Rajasthan Royals's bowlers staged a superb comeback in the final few overs, in Saturday's IPL match in Jaipur.

Manish Pandey started off aggressively, with a flurry of boundaries, and stroked his way to a quickfire 50 from 27 balls while taking Sunrisers past the 100-run mark in the 12th over.

 

With an ultra-cautious David Warner, who looked keen to bat till the end, the only way back for Royals was regular wickets.

And Warner's wicket proved to be the trigger point for them. The Aussie left-hander succumbed to the pressure following a relentless spell of tight, disciplined bowling. He scored a sedate 37 from 32 balls, without hitting a single boundary, before he perished in his attempt to break loose, brilliantly caught by fellow-Australian Steve Smith off pacer Oshane Thomas.

Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal produced a beauty to dismiss the well-set Pandey as wicketkeeper Sanju Samson took a good sharp catch but also managed to dismiss the batsman stumped.

His wicket saw Sunrisers reduced to 121 for three in 15 overs, and they hardly got going after that with wickets falling at regular intervals.

The Sunrisers batsmen failed to hit a single boundary in the next four overs before Rashid Khan hit Varun Aaron for 18 runs in the final one to push the total to 160 for eight.

Sunrisers lost their way at the end, losing six wickets for 47 runs in the last six overs, hitting just two fours and a six. It was clear they were around 15-20 runs short of the par score on a good batting wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, which was obvious from the way Rajasthan cruised to victory.

The hosts registered a convincing seven-wicket win with five balls to spare and kept their play-off hopes alive.

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Harish Kotian / Rediff.com

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