In the 45th game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 expedition, Rajasthan Royals (RR) extended their winning momentum with a fabulous 7-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. SRH batsman Manish Pandey got his team off to a decent start with an excellent half-century knock, but the RR bowlers displayed an amazing combined effort to pull things back and in turn restricted the opposition as well.
In the second innings, the RR opening duo comprising of Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone relieved all the pressure of the run-chase with a fantastic partnership for the first wicket. Then Sanju Samson batted with a great sense of responsibility to steer RR to a splendid victory. With this win, the 2008 champions also kept their playoff hopes very much intact.
RR bowlers combined efforts restricts SRH after Pandey’s fifty
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, SRH’s new opening combo of David Warner and skipper Kane Williamson started things with a decent opening partnership. But they failed to carry on as Williamson got dismissed with the scoreboard reading 28 runs. However, the other opener, Warner continued with his fine IPL form and steadied the innings with a great partnership of 75 runs along with Manish Pandey. But Warner never looked convincing during the 32-ball 37, while Pandey carried on from where he left in the last match, smashing his second straight fifty off just 27 balls.
RR leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal then bowled a lovely delivery to dismiss Pandey, which in turn triggered a vital batting collapse. From being in a strong position at 120 for 2, in a space of just four overs, the visitors suddenly found themselves reduced in a miserable state to 137 for 7. However, then towards the end, Rashid Khan smacked couple of boundaries to help SRH finish with a fightable total of 160 runs. For Rajasthan, the likes of Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Oshane Thomas and Shreyas Gopal bowled really well to pick up two wickets each.
Rahane and Livingstone’s fine opening advances RR in the chase
In the second innings, the two RR openers, Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone got their team off to a brilliant start at the top. The two openers took calculative risks and scored some crisp boundaries, to help register a fabulous total of 60 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. Livingstone, who got a promotion at the top of the order, played a significant knock of 44 runs off just 26 balls which included 4 fours and 3 sixes.
The SRH spin duo of Rashid Khan and Shakib Al Hasan then led their team to some sort of respite, dismissing both the openers in a gap of two overs. However, before getting dismissed, Rahane and Livingstone had already relieved all the major pressure of the run-chase with a sensational opening partnership of 78 runs. Then the pair of skipper Steve Smith and Sanju Samson brought their team towards the doorsteps of the victory line with a fine partnership of 55 runs. Samson remained unbeaten till the end for a significant innings of 48 runs to guide his team to a comfortable win with five balls to spare in the game.
SRH: 160/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey-61, David Warner-37; Jaydev Unadkat 2/26, Oshane Thomas 2/28)
RR: 161/3 in 19.1 overs (Sanju Samson-48*, Liam Livingstone-44, Ajinkya Rahane-39)
Result: Rajasthan Royals won the match by 7 wickets.