Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Sunrisers spoil Royals’ IPL return with crushing win


Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot against the Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match in Hyderabad, India, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday spoiled Rajasthan Royals’ return to the Indian Premier League in a thumping nine-wicket home victory.

Hyderabad did not miss banned skipper David Warner as Shikhar Dhawan, dropped before scoring, and new captain Kane Williamson shared an unbeaten 121-run stand to a winning 127-1 in 15.5 overs.

Dhawan blazed an unbeaten 77 off 57 balls, including 13 fours and a six, while Williamson was unbeaten on 36, hitting three fours and a six.

Rajasthan’s multimillion-dollar signings, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, failed in their team’s sub-par total of 125-9 after being put in to bat by Williamson, who replaced Warner after the latter was embroiled in a ball-tampering scandal last month.

Rajasthan, returning after a two-year ban due to a betting scandal, struggled to put on partnerships in the absence of their own banned captain, Steve Smith.

Top scorer Sanju Samson (49) and captain Ajinkya Rahane (12) put up the best stand of 46 for the second wicket.

Buttler and Stokes scored only 6 and 5 respectively.

“We thought 125 was on the lower side, 150 or 160 would have been great,” Rahane said. “We were 50-1 and me and Sanju decided to back our intent, but we lost too many wickets. This is the first game, and we need to learn from our mistakes and move forward.”

Star Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (2-23) started the Rajasthan slide when he removed Samson and Rahul Tripathi in the 14th over.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan (1-23) further jolted them when he bowled Buttler with a googly.

Siddarth Kaul also bowled steadily and picked up two wickets that included Rahane.

“No doubt we miss Davey [Warner], such a fantastic player for us, but the guys were brilliant all round in the field,” Williamson said. “We picked up wickets at key times and we fielded well.”

In the reply, Dhawan got a reprieve before he scored when Rahane missed a straight forward catch at point in the first over.

Dhawan capitalized with his trademark cut shots, while Williamson seemed happy to give up the spotlight.

Rahane used seven bowlers against them, but left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat (1-28) picked up the solitary wicket of Wriddhiman Saha.

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