Sunrisers Hyderabad relied on another strong bowling performance to beat Rajasthan Royals by 11 runs after posting a total of 151 in their 20 overs.
The Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat on a tricky wicket. The team was off to a shaky start as Shikhar Dhawan lost his wicket early to Krishnappa Gowtham with the score on 17. Alex Hales, who was playing his first game of the tournament was joined by his captain at the crease and the pair put on a good partnership to steer the SRH ship into safe waters.
The duo looked to be cruising until the 15th over when Hales, who was trying to force the pace, sliced a ball straight to point off the bowling of Gowtham and was dismissed for 45 with the score at 109. This triggered a collapse as Williamson followed Hales back into the pavilion the very next over but, not before making an exquisite 63 runs off 43 balls. This knock won him the man of the match award.
The rest of the innings for SRH with the bat was pretty underwhelming as the team finished on 151 for 7 from their 20 overs. SRH lost its final 6 wickets for 42 runs. Krishnappa Gowtham picked up 2 wickets and conceded just 18 runs in his 4 overs, while Jofra Archer continued his fine form with the ball picking up 3 wickets for 26 runs.
The Rajasthan chase never seemed to get going. Captain Ajinkya Rahane who carried his bat through the innings wasnâ€™t able to force the pace even towards the latter stage of the inning. The Royalsâ€™ run chase had just one substantial partnership between Rahane and Sanju Samson for the second wicket. Sanju finished with 40 off 30 deliveries, while Rahane finished unbeaten on 65 from 53 balls.
Five out of the 6 bowlers used by SRH ended up with wickets. Siddharth Kaul picked up 2, but Sandeep Sharma was the most effective bowler, conceding just 15 runs from his 4 overs while also picking up a wicket in the process.
In the post-match interview, Williamson said, â€śWe had a good start. The surface was on the slow side, and there was not much bounce. I thought the way they bowled the short ball was pretty good, and it's something we wanted to do in our bowling innings. It was nice to get that dismissal early. We didn't get the 10-15 more on a challenging surface, but it was an improvement nevertheless. Twenty20 is unpredictable in nature and it's nice to get a few wins on the board. Alex (Hales) is world-class in this format. He made a very good contribution today."
This win takes Sunrisers to the top of the table, while Rajasthan now finds itself in the fifth position.