In what was the first game that Rajasthan Royals played after it was alleged that three of their players were involved in spot-fixing, they put up an enervated performance. It is never easy to play a game of cricket when your team is going through a bad phase. The entire squad of RR must have been crestfallen and distraught.
Snap shots from today’s game:
SRH’s batsmen show dogged determination and fortitude
When SRH lost three wickets early doors, they found themselves in choppy waters. But Samantray and the pertinacious Sammy took them to a score that could be defended on a typically tricky wicket for batting at Hyderabad.
Faulkner continues to impress
Faulkner isn’t one of those bowlers who can swing it like a boomerang, or bowl at the speed of the wind. But he knows his limitations and sticks to it. He bowls with exemplary control, and has good variations in his armour. As Faulkner is a left-armer, he brings that much needed variety into RR’s attack.
RR flounder under pressure
Yes, RR have already qualified for the play-offs. But they would have been very determined to win this game, especially after what has happened this week. Unfortunately for RR, their batsmen fell like a pack of cards and couldn’t chase down the target. In this season, their batsmen have punched above their weight to help RR checkmate opposition teams, and that is why it was disappointing to see their batsmen put up a listless show.
The one batsman who could have shepherded RR’s chase was Dravid. The man for a crisis, Dravid has built many giant edifices with a willow in hand on tricky wickets in the past. But today, he couldn’t convert a bright start into a big score. Even the lynchpin of RR’s line-up, Watson, struggled to make an impact.
Steyn’s thunderbolt – A sight to behold
When Steyn is bowling, there is always a buzz of anticipation. The lion-hearted fast bowler didn’t disappoint once again, as he sent Hodge’s stumps cartwheeling with a thunderbolt. It is always a great sight to see a champion fast bowler make a mess of the stumps.
SRH have a very balanced bowling line-up. But they need their top-order to fire on all cylinders. For RR, this is a week that they would like to forget. They have to somehow put all that has happened this week behind and move forward. It won’t be easy, but they have no other option. This win by SRH also means that KXIP’s faint chances of qualifying for the play-offs have gone up in the smoke.