Last year’s runners-up Rajasthan Royals’ were off to a brilliant start in this year’s Indian Premier League as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs in their opening match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday.
The 2023 Orange Cap winner Jos Buttler scored a quickfire 22-ball 54 to lead the team’s batting onslaught as they posted 203-5. It was followed by a solid bowling performance from their bowlers who restricted hosts Hyderabad to 131/8. This was the first defeat for a host side in this year’s IPL as Hyderabad’s run-chase never got going.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned figures of 4/17 after pace spearhead Trent Boult struck twice in his first over dismissing Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi for ducks. From there, it was all Royals really.
Earlier, Buttler and his opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal – who also made 54 – had provided an explosive start before skipper Sanju Samson also joined in the charge with his powerful 55. He departed in the 19th over following which Shimron Hetmyer finished off the innings with his unbeaten 22.
The English white-ball captain was in ominous touch and reached his fifty in 20 balls before being bowled by Afghanistan left-arm pace bowler Fazalhaq Farooqui inside the sixth over. Samson soon took charge then with Jaiswal for company as they piled on the runs.
T Natarajan (2/23), who pushed the Royals back in the penultimate by dismissing Samson and only giving up seven runs, was the standout bowler for Sunrisers after an expensive start. Meanwhile, Farooqi returned with 2 for 41 from four overs.
Hyderabad were never in the chase after Boult’s double wicket maiden over and then Jason Holder clung on to a superb catch at slip to send back Rahul Tripathi. Wickets kept tumbling, including debutant Harry Brook (13) and Glenn Phillips (8). ‘Impact player’ Abdul Samad (32*) combined with his Jammu & Kashmir team-mate Umran Malik (19*) and helped reduce the margin of defeat.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the stand-in captain for SRH in this match as Aiden Markram was unavailable due to international duty.
With inputs from AFP