Sunday, November 18, 2018 04:27:20 AM
Rajasthan Royals got off to a winning start in IPL 7 thanks to Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny, who rescued the side from a shaky start to chase down Sunrisers Hyderabad's 133 for 4 at Abu Dhabi on Friday.
After restricting SRH to an average total, RR lost three early wickets but a 77-run partnership between Rahane (59) and Binny (48*) brought the innings back on track to ensure a four-wicket win with three balls to spare.
Rajasthan's chase began on a troublesome note when they lost Abhishek Nayar (4) off the third ball of their innings to Dale Steyn.
Steyn's new-ball partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar got appreciable swing and was able to nip out Sanju Samson (3), after which Ishant Sharma got the big wicket of Shane Watson (3) to leave RR innings in a spot of bother at 31 for 3 in the seventh over.
But Binny came out in a positive frame of mind, which allowed Rahane to tighten his end up in the recovery period. The duo took their time initially, but continued to milk the bowling with ones and twos.
Rajasthan raised their fifty in the 10th over, which increased the asking rate but the partnership began to flourish from that point on, with Rahane bringing up his half-century off 46 balls.
Rahane fell off the last ball of the 16th over with the score at 108, after which Brad Hodge (1) and Rajat Bhatia (4) too were dismissed quickly giving Hyderabad a sniff. But James Faulkner's two consecutive boundaries eased Rajasthan's nerves to finish the games in 19.3 overs.
Earlier, a disciplined bowling performance by Rajasthan never allowed Hyderabad batsmen to settle despite useful contributions from skipper Shikhkar Dhawan (38) and David Warner (32), both of who fell just when the team needed them to kick on.
For Rajasthan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson and Bhatia took two wickets each.