Sunrisers top the IPL after holding off Royals
There was relatively little of the usual Twenty20 big-hitting on show as Sunrisers Hyderabad won at Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad moved to the top of the Indian Premier League standings with a tight 11-run win at Rajasthan Royals.
Alex Hales (45) and Kane Williamson (63) contributed handy totals for the Sunrisers, but the bowlers reigned supreme in both innings in Jaipur.
Jofra Archer conceded just 26 runs for three wickets with more impressive death bowling, yet that economy paled next to the Hyderabad bowling, which limited the Royals to 140-6 - short of their 152 target.
Although captain Ajinkya Rahane's unbeaten 65 kept hosts Rajasthan in the contest, this never looked a likely chase as the Sunrisers took full advantage of Chennai Super Kings' defeat 24 hours earlier and moved two points clear.
SLOW SUNRISERS STUTTER
Debutant Hales and Williamson enjoyed a partnership of 92 but, outside of a 21-run 12th over, it was a relatively slow 68-ball stand for the Sunrisers' second wicket.
And Krishnappa Gowtham (2-18) - a matchwinner with the bat against Mumbai Indians a week earlier - crucially removed Hales when he sliced to Sanju Samson at point.
Williamson followed as a review showed him to have nicked the ball as Jos Buttler caught behind, the batsman having insisted there was no touch off Ish Sodhi's delivery.
ARCHER AT IT AGAIN
Archer contributed two wickets in one over, including a sublime yorker that sneaked under the bat of Shakib Al Hasan (6), as Hyderabad struggled late in the innings.
His third wicket arrived as Rashid Khan found Ben Stokes, with the Sunrisers mustering only a reachable 151-7 that meant the Royals' slow start with the bat should have mattered little.
Rajasthan had triumphed in similar circumstances against Mumbai and Samson made 40 from 30 balls before he departed, leaving Rahane at the crease.
UNORTHODOX FIELDING FOILS ROYALS
Next in, Stokes was soon gone, too, for a duck and Buttler's (10) urgency to get the Royals moving was punished by Shikhar Dhawan's catch.
Rahane kept Rajasthan's bid alive with a six in the 18th over, but a big Mahipal Lomror hit was superbly clawed back from the boundary by Manish Pandey, with the batsman departing for 11 from the next ball.
Shakib kicked another away from the rope as the Royals' inability to make boundaries proved their undoing, with a Gowtham four in the final over proving too little, too late before he fell at the hands of Basil Thampi at the penultimate ball to end his side's faint hopes.