One moment Sandeep Sharma and Rajasthan Royals were celebrating winning the match. Another moment later, Sunrisers Hyderabad had pulled off a heist. In yet another incredible last-ball finish – high on drama if not quality of cricket – SRH defeated RR by four wickets in Jaipur in the Indian Premier League.

Needing 17 runs off the last over to win the match, Abdul Samad had a couple of reprieves in Sandeep’s final over. He was dropped off the first ball, nearly caught off the second ball (tough chance that went for six) an thought he was caught off the last ball with five needed to win. But it was a no ball and RR’s celebrations were cut short. Instead, Samad made the most of the reprieves and smashed the last ball for six to pull off a heist.

While Samad (17 off 7) hit the winning runs, the match-winning effort came from Glenn Phillips who smashed a 7-ball 25 to give SRH a fighting chance.

Batting first after winning the toss, Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 35 (18), Jos Buttler’s 95 (59), and captain Sanju Samson’s 66* (38) powered RR to what seemed a match-winning total. It was a superb batting display by the home team at Sawai Man Singh Stadium.

The SRH chase, on the other hand, only briefly flickered into life early on. Abhishek Sharma did well to keep things going but it was Heinrich Klaasen, Phillips and Samad who helped pull off the chase. Yuzvendra Chahal’s four-for went in vain for RR who have lost their way after a strong start to the season.

Hyderabad had slipped to 174-5 when New Zealand’s Phillips turned the game on its head with a seven-ball 25 that infused life into the chase.

Phillips smashed left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for three sixes and a four before he was caught by Shimron Hetmyer off the fifth ball of the penultimate over.

“That was the ball I should have hit the most. I was disappointed the actual slot ball didn’t go over the fence,” Phillips said after being named player of the match.

“I felt I left a lot out there with 17 needed off the final over, but then Samad did what he did and obviously we got that little bit of luck with the no ball.”

Phillips had come into the Hyderabad team for the under-performing big signing Harry Brook while England’s Joe Root played his first game of the season for Rajasthan.

The victory was set up by key knocks from Abhishek (55), Rahul Tripathi (47) and Heinrich Klaasen (26) as the team made its highest ever run chase.

Rajasthan posted 214-2 after a destructive second-wicket stand of 138 between Buttler, who fell five short of a record-equalling sixth IPL ton, and skipper Samson.

Buttler started slowly with his first 20 coming at a run a ball but changed gears to bring up his fifty.

Seam bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar denied Buttler a century to get him out lbw. Samson finished off the innings in a 17-run over but it wasn’t enough in the end.

“To be honest life is never easy playing this format, especially this tournament,” said Samson.

One of the cricketing cliches is that you can never rest easy till the last ball is bowled. But RR on Sunday found out that there is a way for things to bad even after the last ball, technically, was bowled.

RR stayed fourth with 10 points but have now lost three in a row while SRH keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

GT 11 8 3 0 0.951 16 WWLWW
CSK 11 6 4 1 0.409 13 WNLLW
LSG 11 5 5 1 0.294 11 LNLWL
RR 11 5 6 0 0.388 10 LLLWL
RCB 10 5 5 0 -0.209 10 LWLWW
MI 10 5 5 0 -0.454 10 LWWLL
PBKS 10 5 5 0 -0.472 10 LWLWL
KKR 10 4 6 0 -0.103 8 WLWLL
SRH 10 4 6 0 -0.472 8 WLWLL
DC 10 4 6 0 -0.529 8 WWLWW

With AFP inputs