Kane Williamson made a fine return to the IPL, leading Sunrisers Hyderabad to a convincing 5-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals.
Chasing a mammoth 199, the Sunrisers were off to a stunning start. Their openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow fired on all cylinders right from the word go. By the time the powerplay ended, the Sunrisers had raced away to 69 for no loss. Warner reached his fifty in just 29 deliveries and was showing no signs of slowing down.
The partnership reached 100 in just nine overs. Ben Stokes then gave the Royals the much-needed breakthrough in the tenth over by dismissing Warner. In the next over, Shreyas Gopal dismissed Bairstow to reduced the Sunrisers to 117 for 2 from 110 for no loss.
However, the openers had already laid the foundation for the chase. Vijay Shankar then slammed 35 off just 15 to take the team close to win. Yusuf Pathan and Rashid Khan then shared an unbeaten stand of 34 runs to take the team home.
A brilliant shot to finish the innings from @rashidkhan_19
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 29, 2019
Earlier in the game, Rajasthan Royals were off to a poor start after electing to bat first. They lost their in-form opener Jos Buttler in the very fourth over.
Sanju Samson and skipper Ajinkya Rahane steadied the ship, taking no risks at all early on. As a result, the Royals could score only 35 runs in the powerplay. But with the passage of time, the two started playing their shots and the runs flowed. The two shared 119 runs for the second wicket before Rahane departed after scoring 70.
Samson, however, went on make full use of the start. He slammed 24 runs in the 18th over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar to race away to 85 from 61 in a space of six balls. The right-hander went on to complete his century in the final over, helping Royals post a daunting total of 198 for 2.
Speaking after the game, Kane Williamson said:
A tough game, but Rajasthan Royals played really well. The openers set it up for us. A good collective effort, we needed parts to work well for us tonight. Rashid was supposed to bat 7 or 8 depending on the situation. His batting has improved quite a bit. It’s nice to be on the right side of the result tonight.