Crescent Kashmir

New-look Rajasthan crush SRH by 61 runs, start campaign on rousing note

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A new-look and re-energised Rajasthan Royals attacked from the outset and inflicted on Sunrisers Hyderabad a 61-run hammering to begin their campaign in IPL on a rousing note here today.

RR got the better of SRH in every department after skipper Sanju Samson led from the front with a scintillating 27-ball 55 to power his team to an imposing 210/6.

Smarting from the pounding in the first half of their opening fixture, SRH failed to pose any serious threat after a disastrous start to their innings, which saw them slip to 9/3 and then 29/4.

In the end, Kane Williamson’s (2) team were put of their misery at 149/7, with the captain himself enduring a bad day in office.

SRH wouldn’t even have reached 149 had it not been for Aiden Markram’s unbeaten 57 and Washington Sundar’s 14-ball 40, the latter somewhat making up with the willow after his forgettable outing with the ball.

SRH’s top-order batting was in stark contrast to Samson and Devdutt Padikkal (41 off 29 balls), who added 73 runs for the third wicket off 41 balls, before Shimron Hetmyer used his brute power to clobber 32 in only 13 deliveries and take RR past 200.

Samson’s six-hitting prowess was on display as he struck five sixes and three boundaries, sparing no bowler during his entertaining stay in the middle. Later Hetmyer smashed three sixes to pile on SRH’s misery.

A clinical show by the bowlers, led by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3/22), then completed the task for RR.

Chasing an improbable 211, Sunrisers lost key batter Williamson after a diving catch by Padikkal before Rahul Tripathi (0) became Prasidh Krishna’s second victim of the day. It became 9/3 as Trent Boult trapped Nicolas Pooran (0) in front of the wicket.

To make matters worse, Chahal removed two more batters in Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad in quick succession, as Sunrisers lost half their side for 37 runs and stared at a heavy defeat.

But Markram, Romario Shepherd (24) and Sundar, who got 24 runs in the 17th over, delayed the inevitable and reduced the margin of defeat.

During the final over, pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile injured himself while landing and was taken off. — PTI

Can KKR inflict 2nd loss on Bangalore?

Wellington: Seeking to consolidate their position after a winning start, Kolkata Knight Riders will have their task cut out as they take on a determined Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL here tomorrow. The two outfits head into the game on the back of contrasting results. While the Shreyas Iyer-led KKR humbled defending champions Chennai Super Kings by six wickets, Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a five-wicket loss to Punjab Kings, despite posting a 200-plus score. For RCB, skipper Faf du Plessis is in prime form after he made a scintillating 57-ball 88 and would like to continue in the same vein. Unburdened by the captaincy pressure, Virat Kohli made a statement and played with more intent against Punjab. He will definitely look to rediscover his touch. Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik also played a significant cameo and his role would be crucial once again if RCB have to set or chase a big total. If these four go all guns blazing, then it would be a daunting task for the varied KKR attack. For KKR, they ticked all the boxes in their opener against CSK and they would be hoping to repeat that performance.


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