Sunrisers Hyderabad decimated Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets to register a victory in their maiden match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.
In pursuit of 126 runs, SRH chased down the target comfortably in just 15.5 overs. Shikhar Dhawan scored a brilliant unbeaten 77 and was well supported by Kane Williamson (36*). The hosts rode on an all-round show at home and this will give them confidence going forward into the tournament.
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Earlier, the Royals kept on losing wickets in regular succession. Only Sanju Samson (49) showed the class while in the power play overs. But once that ended, he could not continue in the same fervor. Million dollar man Ben Stokes had a sorry outing with just five runs from the bat and no wickets to his name.
Shakib Al Hasan and Siddharth Kaul picked two wickets each for SRH to hurt Rahane’s side immensely.
Here we look at the impact player, powerful performer and key moments of the game.
Impact Player of the day: Rashid Khan
SRH fielded like tigers on the field and the collective performance will definitely make skipper Williamson a satisfied person. Rashid was brilliant in the match and showed immense character. His two heroic catches besides a wicket was a stellar effort.
The Afghan-international took an excellent catch to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane. The latter’s lofted whip towards deep mid-wicket saw Rashid run across and take a commendable sliding catch. It was an unbelievable piece of fielding.
His next catch to dismiss Sanju Samson at deep-cover was the highlight of the night. That was indeed a smart catch from Rashid at deep cover, as he ran in to slide forward and ended up making no mistake. His dismissal of the dangerous Jos Buttler too made us pick him as the impact player of the day.
Powerful Performer of the day: Shikhar Dhawan
The southpaw gave a solid account of himself after being dropped early on for naught. He made the Royals pay after stitching a defiant 121-run stand for the second wicket with Williamson. Dhawan was on top gear and carried his form from the national duty into the IPL.
His unbeaten 77 runs were scored just of 57 deliveries as he smashed 13 fours and a six. Dhawan targeted every bowler and did not allow anybody to settle in. He rode on luck early on and took the charge as Williamson played second fiddle in the defining century stand. His upper-cut six off Dhawal Kulkarni was a splendid shot.
Key moment of the day
Ajinkya Rahane, who dropped Dhawan at first slip when he was at 0, had a bearing on the game. Dhawan Kulkarni bowled superbly to get the opening batsman nick it straight to Rahane at a decent height, and the RR skipper dropped it. Considered one of India’s premier slip fielders, Rahane had a rare easy miss and that cost his side.
Dhawan struck a defiant fifty and shared a classy 121-run unbeaten stand with Williamson for the second wicket. After Wriddhiman Saha’s dismissal at 6/1, the duo took the challenge on themselves and stitched a commendable unbeaten century stand and see their side past the line.
This, in turn, was our key moment of the day.