An exhilarating display of stroke-making from Rajasthan Royals was followed by spineless batting from Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. End result: Royals won by 61 runs.
Put in to bat, the Royals piled up a massive 210 for 6 on a batting paradise and then limited the Sunrisers to 149 for 7, getting their IPL 2022 campaign off to a fantastic start.
Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal laid the foundation for the Royals before captain Sanju Samson (55 off 27 balls) and Devdutt Padikkal (41 off 29 balls) provided them further thrust.
Shimron Hetmyer (32 off 13 balls) came up with the finishing touches that powered the Royals past 200.
In reply, the Sunrisers were practically out of the game when Prasidh Krishna and Trent Boult left them reeling at 9 for 3 in the fifth over. Prasidh bowled the right length to pick up the key wicket of captain Kane Williamson and No.3 Rahul Tripathi, while Boult trapped a shaky Nicholas Pooran lbw.
The Sunrisers just couldn’t stage a comeback from such a situation and went close to 150 purely because of efforts from Aiden Markram (57 not out) and Washington Sundar (40).
Among the Sunrisers bowlers, barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/29), Romario Shepherd (1/33) and the seriously fast Umran Malik (2/39), all the others were hammered to all corners of the ground.
The Sunrisers didn’t help themselves either by bowling four no-balls inside the Powerplay. One of those no-balls came in the very first over of the game when Buttler edged one behind, only to be saved as Bhuvneshwar had overstepped.
The Royals were not yet off the mark then, and Buttler’s dismissal could well have unfolded a different script altogether.
The Sunrisers still had an opportunity to tighten the screws after the departure of both Jaiswal and Buttler inside the ninth over. But captain Samson connected really well almost every shot that he attempted, coming in at No.3.
The skipper was complemented brilliantly by Padikkal, who didn’t seem to be having any problems in adjusting to the No.4 slot. Both the batsmen improvised and played some cracking shots through the line in their 73-run third-wicket stand, setting it up nicely for Hetmyer to finish the innings off in style.