Become the first team to defend a total in IPL 2022 with Krishna’s new-ball burst swamping Sunrisers
Rajasthan Royals 210 for 6 (Samson 55, Padikkal 41, Malik 2-39) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 149 for 7 (Markram 57*, Washington 40, Chahal 3-22, Krishna 2-16) by 61 runs
There was just enough assistance in the surface for good bowling, but equally the margin of error was low because of its true nature. Sunrisers Hyderabad made errors aplenty, bowling four no-balls in the Powerplay – two of which could have got Jos Buttler out – and often allowed the batters to swing their arms.
Sunrisers overstep the mark
These were tailormade conditions for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had Buttler fumbling in the dark in the first over. Three outswingers were followed by a wide inswinger, which set him up for the outswinger fifth ball. Buttler played for inswing, edging it through for a superb slip catch by Abdul Samad but soon sounded the no-ball buzzer. In his first over, pace sensation Umran Malik had Buttler edging to slip, but he, too, overstepped. Even offspinner Washington Sundar bowled a no-ball. There were enough errors made for Royals to race away to 58 in the powerplay.
Samson checks in
Samson is well-known for his good starts to IPLs when the pitches are new and fresh and quick. This match was no exception. He used the fast bowlers’ pace, and effortlessly pulled spinners for sixes down the ground. Five of his hits cleared the boundary. With this half-century, Samson now has 327 at 65.4 and a strike rate of 174 in the first matches of the last five IPLs.
Without Rashid Khan for the first time since 2017, Surnisers looked light in the middle overs. Their spinners went for 62 in their four overs. Malik, though, came back superbly from his 21-run first over with the wickets of Buttler and Padikkal, both on defence.
Hetmyer provides the finishing touch
When Samson got out at 163 in 16.1 overs, Royals were well on their way to a challenging total against a thin batting line-up, but Hetmyer all but put the matter beyond them with some power hitting. Those before him had punished errors from the bowlers, but Hetmyer took toll of perfectly acceptable near-yorkers from T Natarajan. When Bhuvneshwar pitched short to him, he unleashed an incredible baseball-style pull over long-off for a six. If the pitches say true, Royals were sounding a warning to other teams too.
Boult, Krishna break Sunrisers’ back
Boult and Krishna then served a reminder of what Sunrisers missed out on this surface. Boult drew swing and seam with the new ball while the ball flew off the surface for Krishan’s more hit-the-deck lengths. Even before the wickets began to fall it was apparent how difficult it was to hit if the bowlers got their lengths right. In the second over, Williamson eventually edged one for a questionable rebound catch at first slip. Tripathi’s dismissal was more straightforward as Krishna got the ball to hold its line outside off. Pooran then missed a full, swinging delivery from Boult. Samson saw the opportunity and bowled all six powerplay overs with them.
Chahal joins the party
If the contest had some life yet, Yuzvendra Chahal squeezed it out. So far behind the asking rate, with an accurate R Ashwin offering nothing to hit, the batters went after Chahal, who proved to be too wily for them. Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad and Romario Shepherd all fell to him trying to hit a big shot. Chahal gave them no pace to work with, and did enough in the air to keep defeating them.
A 55-run partnership between Washington – 40 off 14 – and Aiden Markram controlled some of the net-run-rate damage but they still lost by 61 runs.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo