Rajasthan Royals stormed to victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match of IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. Set 211, SRH could only manage 149/7 in their quota of 20 overs against a potent RR bowling attack.
After Kane Williamson won the toss, he asked Rajasthan Royals to bat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had Jos Buttler caught at slip but replays showed it was a no-ball. Buttler gleefully accepted the reprieve and went on to score 35 off 28 balls while Yashasvi Jaiswal took 16 balls for his 20.
The chunk of the runs came from Sanju Samson, who led from the front with 55 off 27 balls and Devdutt Padikkal who took on a new role at No.4 and smashed 41 off 29. Shimron Hetmyer made a quick 32 and that allowed RR to post a daunting total against an SRH side without a lot of meat in its batting line-up.
SRH’S HORROR START
Chasing 211, Sunrisers Hyderabad were never in with a chance after Prasidh Krishna removed Kane Williamson and Rahul Tripathi in his first two overs. Prasidh was in brilliant form against the West Indies and he continued his good run in the opening match of IPL 2022 for Rajasthan Royals.
Kane Williamson was coming off a long injury break and had opened with Abhishek Sharma. The skipper’s early dismissal meant SRH had to rely on the expertise of Nicholas Pooran.
However, Pooran fell for 0 off 9 balls, failing to justify his hefty price tag once again as Trent Boult trapped the West indites batter in front.
SunRisers slipped to 14/3 at the end of 6 overs, their lowest powerplay total in the history of IPL.
CHAHAL SHINES IN PINK
Yuzvendra Chahal, who was not retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore, showed his worth, this time wearing the pink of Rajasthan Royals. The leg-spinner picked up a wicket in his first over for the Royals and ran through the middle-order to compound SunRisers’s woes.
Chahal finished with figures of 3/22 in his 4-over spell.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 29, 2022
SUNDAR, MARKRAM FIGHT
Just when it looked like SunRieers Net Run Rate would take a huge hit, Romario Shepherd provided some spark with a 18-ball 24.
Washington Sundar, who leaked 47 runs in 3 overs, made up for it with the bat, going on a six-hitting spree in his partnership with Aiden Markram. The two added 50 in just 19 balls to make sure SRH closed the gap. Sundar fell for a 14-ball 40, falling to Trent Boult in the penultimate over.
PADIKKAL BREAKS FREE
Devdutt Padikkal played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2020 and 2021 and immediately impressed many in the cricket fraternity. In his debut season two years back, Devdutt Padikkal scored 473 runs and followed that up with 411 in 2021 including his maiden hundred. However, despite amassing 884 runs from 29 matches for RCB, he was not retained. Perhaps his overall strike-rate of 125.04 was a concern for a team which banks on power-hitters.
Debuting for Rajasthan Royals, Devdutt Padikkal batted at No.4. He was slow off the blocks but broke the shackles against Romario Shepherd. Padikkal’s innings of 41 off 29 (strike-rate of 141.37) was punctuated with 4 boundaries and 2 sixes.
BHUVI, UMRAN FIRE
Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a poor time at the T20 World Cup but his skills were on full display in the T20I series against West Indies at home. On Tuesday, he started well on a green pitch at the MCA Stadium and had Jos Buttler nicking one to first slip but it was off a no-ball. He did get a wicket towards the end of his spell but he gave away only 29 runs off his 4 overs even as RR piled up 210 for 6 off their overs.
Umran Malik, who had impressed last year with his lightning pace, was good again on the night for SRH. He was expensive – his 4 overs went for 43 runs – bowled with a lot of heart. The ball to dismiss a dangerous Padikkal was a complete peach. Not long before that, Malik had gotten rid of Jos Buttler, who has single-handedly destroyed quality bowling attacks for years.