Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), under new captain Kane Williamson, will hope for a swift change in fortunes when they face Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 28 of IPL 2021 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.
RR find themselves in a lowly seventh place in the points table after winning only two of their six matches so far. Meanwhile, SRH have fared worse still, triumphing just once in six games, which prompted a change in leadership.
In their last match, RR went down to Mumbai Indians (MI) by seven wickets after failing to defend a total of 171. SRH, meanwhile, were thrashed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Incidentally, they, too, failed to defend a score of 171.
There isn’t much to pick in the head-to-head battle between the teams. SRH have a slender 7-6 lead over RR, with both teams splitting their two meetings last season. With RR and SRH renewing acquaintances tonight, let's take a look at the three most impressive batting performances in past games between the teams.
#3 Manish Pandey (SRH) 83 not out off 47 - IPL 2020 (in Dubai)
Manish Pandey played a cracking knock as SRH beat RR by eight wickets in an IPL 2020 game in Dubai. Pandey hammered an unbeaten 83 off only 47 balls as SRH chased down a target of 155 with 11 balls to spare.
Pandey got into his groove by smashing pacer Kartik Tyagi for consecutive boundaries in the fourth over. In the next over bowler by Ben Stokes, the right-hander hit two sixes.
18 runs came off the last over of the powerplay as Pandey toyed with Tyagi and eased himself to two more hits over the fence. The SRH batsman also pulled leg-spinner, Shreyas Gopal for a six over midwicket as Pandey brought up his 50 off 28 deliveries.
The SRH batsman did not slow down after reaching his half-century. He kept finding the boundaries as the 2016 champions raced to their target. The right-hander ended up hitting eight sixes and four fours during his innings.
Pandey was well supported by Vijay Shankar, who scored an unbeaten 52 and featured in an unbroken 140-run stand for the third wicket. Earlier, SRH all-rounder Jason Holder claimed 3 for 33 as the Hyderabad-based team restricted RR to 154 for 6.
#2 Shane Watson (RR) 98 not out off 53 - IPL 2013 (in Jaipur)
Shane Watson blasted a belligerent 98 not out off only 53 balls as RR chased down a target of 145 against SRH in an IPL 2013 game in Jaipur. Watson slammed 13 fours and four sixes as RR romped home in 17.5 overs and with eight wickets in hand.
Watson began cautiously before opening up with a couple of boundaries off Thisara Perera. The Australian then launched Amit Mishra for a six over deep midwicket. In a 20-run 15th over bowled by Ishant Sharma, the RR batsman bludgeoned three fours and a six.
In Perera’s last over, Watson helped himself to more runs, cracking a six and two more boundaries. The batsman ended things in a hurry, clubbing Karn Sharma to deep midwicket for a maximum before hitting two fours in the 18th over of the RR innings.
Apart from Watson, RR captain Rahul Dravid contributed 36. Earlier, bowling first, RR restricted SRH to an underwhelming total of 144 for 9 as James Faulkner claimed sensational figures of 5 for 20.
#1 Sanju Samson (RR) 102 not out off 55 - IPL 2019 (in Hyderabad)
Sanju Samson slammed a scintillating 102 not out off only 55 balls as RR put up a competitive 198 for 2, batting first against SRH in an IPL 2019 game in Hyderabad. Samson whacked 10 fours and four sixes during his sublime century.
After RR batted first on winning the toss, Sanju Samson came in it at no. 3 and took on the SRH bowlers from the outset. He slog-swept a length delivery from Shahbaz Nadeem for a maximum before dispatching a slower ball from Siddarth Kaul over midwicket for another six.
Sanju Samson raced to his fifty off 34 balls and soon tore into Bhuvneshwar Kumar, clobbering the bowler for 24 runs in the 18th over of RR’s innings. The right-hander smashed one six and four fours in the over.
The present RR captain raced to a century off 54 balls, slapping Kumar to long-on for a four in the last over of the innings. Kumar endured a forgettable day, as he ended with figures of 0 for 55 in his four overs, while Samson walked back unconquered.
Apart from Samson, RR captain Ajinkya Rahane also impressed, scoring 70 off 49 balls. Rahane and Samson’s efforts went in vain, though, as SRH romped home in 19 overs. David Warner led the way with 69 off 37 and was supported by decent contributions from Jonny Bairstow (45) and Vijay Shankar (35).