Rajasthan Royals couldn’t have asked for a better start to their campaign in IPL 2022. After a batting carnage led by skipper Sanju Samson (55; 27b, 4×3, 6×3) took them to the confines of 210 for six at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday, they dished out an impeccable bowling effort to carve out a 61-run victory.
AS IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE
Just as the wayward Sunrisers Hyderabad attack allowed the Royals to run away with the match, their batsmen floundered in the wake of excellent bowling first up by Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna, whose fourth over wicket maiden, clearly killed the contest as the Sunrisers were restricted to 149/7, thanks in the main to the 55-run seventh wicket stand between Aiden Markram (57; 41b, 4×5, 6×2) and Washington Sundar (40, 14b, 4×5, 6×2).
Prasidh’s Karnataka teammate Devdutt Padikkal (41; 29b, 4×4, 6×2), who was equally effective with the willow earlier, was ready for the opportunity at slip after Samson spilled a Kane Williamson catch and Rahul Tripathi was undone soon as Sunrisers got off to a poor start made worse by Nicholas Pooran failing to bother the scorers.
The Royals were relentless on the day with their spin twins – R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal – making life difficult for Sunrisers in the middle overs. While the former maintained the stranglehold, Chahal (3/22) prised out Abhishek Sharma, totally out of sorts as an opener, Abdul Samad and Romario Shepherd for his 250th wicket in T20s.
In contrast to the free-stroking ways and clinical display of the Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad looked clearly undercooked on a day when barring the toss, nothing went right for Williamson.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was spot on, conceding just one in the opening over but the floodgates opened in the fourth over with Umran Malik, quick as they come but clearly struggling to find his radar, conceding 21 as Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal cashed in.
Washington Sundar looked offcolour and went for 18 in his first as Royals cruised to 58 without loss in powerplay.
Good start @rajasthanroyals 💖#HallaBol https://t.co/JTUaa73ZFo
— Sanju Samson (@IamSanjuSamson) 1648585110000
Samson soon got into the act. The skipper hardly put a foot wrong during his blitzkrieg. It took a successful review by Malik to get rid of Buttler (35; 28b, 4×3, 6×3) but that only increased the run-flow as Samson and Padikkal realised 50 for the third wicket in just 33 deliveries.
Padikkal, batting at No. 4, unlike the opener’s role he played at Royal Challengers Bangalore, was in his element too. The left-hander meted out special treatment to Romario Shepherd and T Natarajan.
Great win 💗 #HallaBol https://t.co/1CrPFwHW0B
— Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) 1648579050000
If the Sunrisers were relieved to see the back of the top four, they had not contended with Hetmyer, whose 32 (13b, 4×2, 6×3) set it up nicely for Royals.