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Rahane does the star turn

Abu Dhabi: Ajinkya Rahane’s gritty batting and a disciplined performance by their bowlers helped Rajasthan Royals notch up a comfortable four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match, here, on Friday.

Rahane (59) shared a 77-run fourth wicket partnership with Stuart Binny (48 not out) to rescue Rajasthan after they were precariously placed at 31 for three in 6.2 overs.

The 25-year-old Mumbaikar hit six boundaries in his 53-ball 59-run innings to anchor the chase as Rajasthan overhauled Hyderabad’s score of 133 for six with three balls to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Earlier, Rajasthan’s Rajat Bhatia (2/22), Dhawal Kulkarni (2/23), Kane Richardson (2/25) and Pravin Tambe (0/23) bowled brilliantly to restrict their opponents to a low total.

Rajasthan then made a horrible start as they lost Abhishek Nayar (4), Sanju Samson (3) and skipper Shane Watson (3) cheaply.

While Dale Steyn (2/29) trapped opener Nayar leg before only in his third ball, Samson was sent packing by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/21) when the batsman’s miscued shot was caught by Dhawan in the fourth over as Rajasthan could only score 30 in their Powerplay overs.

In the next over, Ishant Sharma (1/29) had Watson caught behind by wicket-keeper Lokesh Rahul with an away going delivery as Rajasthan slumped to 31 for three.

Opener Ajinkya Rahane, however, batted patiently and started to stitch a partnership with Binny.

Binny blasted a four and a six in the 10th over off Darren Sammy as Rajasthan scored 61 for three in the first 10 overs.

The duo played sensible cricket as they kept taking ones and twos, besides the odd boundaries, to keep the scoreboard ticking. They brought up their 50-run partnership off 40 balls for the fourth wicket.

Looking for a wicket, Dhawan brought Steyn back into the attack but his first ball went to the boundary as Rahane brought up his hard-earned fifty off 46 balls. The 25-year-old then dispatched the next ball for another boundary.