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PIX: Royals outclass Sunrisers to keep play-off hopes alive

April 28, 2019 00:21 IST

Images from the Indian Premier League match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Jaipur on Saturday.

IMAGE: Jaydev Unadkat celebrates after taking the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan. Photograph: BCCI

Rajasthan Royals outclassed Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets to end their home campaign on a winning note and keep their play-off hopes alive, in the Indian Premier League, in Jaipur, on Saturday.

 

Opting to bowl in a must-win match, Rajasthan first restricted Sunrisers to 160 for eight and then chased down the target in 19.1 overs.

By virtue of this win, Rajasthan moved to sixth position in the IPL standings with 10 points from 12 games.

But to stay in contention for a play-off berth, Rajasthan first must win their remaining two away games against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 30 and Delhi Capitals on May 4 and then hope for favourable results from other matches.

Steve Smith

IMAGE: Steve Smith takes the catch to dismiss David Warner off the bowling of Oshane Thomas. Photograph: BCCI

Despite the loss, Sunrisers managed to hold to their fourth place in the table with 10 points from 11 games.

Chasing 161, Liam Livingstone (44 off 26) and Ajinkya Rahane (39 off 34) got Rajasthan off to a flying start with the former taking the attack to the opposition.

The duo raced off to 78 off 55 balls for the opening wicket, picking up 60 runs off the first six overs of Powerplay before Livingstone perished.

Livingstone was in a murderous mood as he struck four boundaries and three sixes during his explosive knock before departing in the 10th over, caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps off Rashid Khan's bowling.

Manish Pandey

IMAGE: Manish Pandey hits out. Photograph: BCCI

An over later Rajasthan suffered yet another blow in the form of Rahane, caught by David Warner at long-off off Shakib Al Hasan.

Then Sanju Samson (48 not out off 32) and skipper Steve Smith (22) cruised in the middle overs as they shared 55 runs in 5.3 overs to take Rajasthan within sniffing distance of win before the latter departed.

Samson ended the game in style as he pulled a short ball from Shakib Al Hasan for a boundary in the final over, as the hosts won with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Manish Pandey hit a quick half-century before Sunrisers Hyderebad witnessed a middle-order collapse to be restricted to 160 for eight in their 20 overs.

Put into bat, Sunrisers got off too a good start even after the early dismissal of skipper Kane Williamson (13) with David Warner and Manish Pandey sharing 75 runs off just 50 balls for the second wicket before losing the plot after the halfway stage.

Nicely placed 103 for one after 12 overs, Sunrisers lost their next seven wickets for just 44 runs before Rashid Khan (17 not out off 8) played a short cameo towards the end to take the visitors to the 160-run mark.

Liam Livingstone

IMAGE: Liam Livingstone hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Sunrisers lost Williamson early, cleaned up by Shreyas Gopal (2/30) with a googly in the fourth over.

Warner and Pandey then joined hands and played aggressively to stabilise the Sunrisers innings.

While Pandey was the aggressor of the two, Warner played the second fiddle.

Pandey reached his fifty in 27 balls with the help of eight fours but just when the partnership was looking threatening, a brilliant catch by Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith sent Warner packing.

Warner backed away a long way and tried to slap an Oshane Thomas (2/28) short delivery over extra cover but didn't time the shot perfectly and Smith ran back and dived full length to his right to hold on to a beautiful catch.

Warner's innings was a struggle as he scored 37 off 32 balls but failed to hit a single boundary.

Sanju Samson

IMAGE: Sanju Samson hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Pandey continued his aggressive instinct and lofted Gopal over extra cover for an exquisite boundary. But the leg-spinner hand the last laugh as he dismissed Pandey in the very next ball, brilliantly caught by Sanju Samson as Sunrisers slumped to 121 for three after 15 overs.

Pandey made a fine 61 off 36 balls with the help of nine boundaries.

Vijay Shankar (8) too perished cheaply, caught by Jaydev Unadkat off Varun Aaron (2/36) in the next over as he went for a big shot.

The wickets kept on tumbling for Sunrisers in the final few overs. The next to depart was Deepak Hooda for a duck caught one-handed off his own bowling by Unadkat (2/26) in the next over.

But Rashid took the onus on himself and garnered 18 runs off Aaron's final over to take Sunrisers to a respectable total.

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