In a chase of 155 that was unlikely to be difficult, SRH were dented majorly at the outset by the loss of their in-form openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. Though they were kept in check by Jofra Archer and Rahul Tewatia, the duo of Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar attacked the other RR bowlers and polished off the chase in 18.1 overs.
SRH made a crucial change as they replaced star batsman Kane Williamson with all-rounder Jason Holder, and this left their batting a little lighter. Luckily for them, their Indian mainstays stood up when most needed.
Archer and Parag help RR to 154/6
The RR innings never quite seemed to have run-scoring momentum, as the batsmen were unable to attack the SRH bowlers despite having a number of wickets in the bag.
This was epitomized by Ben Stokes' crawling 30 off 32 that put pressure on Sanju Samson, who eventually succumbed trying one shot too many. RR's international stars in the middle order were very disappointing, as Jos Buttler managed just 9 from 12 while Steve Smith added 19 runs off 15 balls.
It was young Riyan Parag who took the attack to T Natarajan and scored three boundaries in an over, to restore momentum and take the scoring rate above 7 runs an over. Although he was dismissed, Archer ensured that the 18-year-old's efforts were backed up, scoring 16 off just 7 balls towards the close.
SRH's change in the XI worked out for them, as Holder scalped three important middle-order wickets.
IPL 2020, RR vs SRH: Who was the Man of the Match?
Holder's three wickets, Rashid's economical spell and Vijay Shankar's all-round efforts - in dismissing Jos Buttler and scoring a half-century - all contributed to SRH's comfortable win.
However, after the loss of SRH's most fearsome and consistent batsmen, it was Manish Pandey who steered the ship for SRH and ensured no further hiccups.
In a role that he was given after a few strong performances last season, Pandey shone at No. 3 with a flurry of boundaries - 4 fours and as many as 8 sixes in his vital knock of 83 off 47 runs. Additionally, he also held on to the catch of RR skipper Steve Smith at long on.
Thus, for his fine innings and his efforts in the field, Manish Pandey was the Man of the Match in yesterday's IPL game.
Published 23 Oct 2020, 00:47 IST