When the Royals had restricted the Sunrisers to a paltry score of 133, the match seemed to be well in their control, only Dale Steyn and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar had different ideas.
The two pacers bowled a beautiful opening spell, with Bhuvaneshwar bowling to Shane Watson what can be called as the over of the tournament so far. Steyn struck early in first over, picking up the wicket of Abhishek Nayar in the very first over. It was then Bhuvaneshwar’s turn as he picked the wicket of Sanju Samson and should have also picked up Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson on a number of occasions as he had them squared up on more than one occasion in his first spell.
After the Royals had lost early wickets it was Rahane and Stuart Binny who pulled them out of trouble and together added a total of 77 runs in 58 deliveries, a partnership which changed the course of the match in the Royals’s favor. When both of them were on the Crease the match looked to be as good as over as the Royals needed just 26 of 25 deliveries at one point of time.
But it was now the turn of Wily leg spinner to weave his magic as he dismissed Ajinkya Rahane and Brad Hodge within a span of 11 deliveries and 3 runs to turn the match on its head once again. It all seemed to end up in a very tight finish, with the Sunrisers having the upper hand, but Stuart Binny and James Faulkner kept their nerves and finished the game with 3 deliveries to spare.
The Royals needed 8 of the last over bowled by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Bhuvi started off well but ended up bowling two very batsmen friendly deliveries on the second and the third balls of the over which resulted in boundaries. James Faulkner once again showed his worth with the bat at the end of the innings, keeping his calm and scoring the required runs without taking any risks. But praise should be given to Stuart Binny who played a very mature and important innings along with Man of the match Ajinkya Rahane and guided the Royals to a well deserved victory.
The Sunrisers on the other hand would look back and consider not bowling out Bhuvi’s overs when he was beating and troubling the batsmen in and out with his immaculate swing. Had he picked up a couple of more wickets up front the game could well have ended with a different result.
Result: Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 4 wickets.
Man of the match: Ajinkya Rahane.