JAIPUR, India: Sunrisers Hyderabad recorded a third successive win as it beat Rajasthan Royals by 11 runs in the Indian Premier League.
In Sunday’s other IPL game, Chris Lynn scored 62 not out off 52 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets.
Hyderabad’s bowling attack pulled off another jailbreak as it successfully defended 151-7, a third consecutive feat of defending a low total. Rajasthan ended on 140-6.
Hyderabad defended 118 and 132 against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, respectively, in its last two matches.
Siddharth Kaul (2-23) was the pick of the Hyderabad bowlers, while Sandeep Sharma (1-15), Basil Thampi (1-26), Rashid Khan (1-31) and Yusuf Pathan (1-14) all chipped in with crucial wickets.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, Hyderabad lost Shikhar Dhawan (6) early. Alex Hales (45 off 39 balls) and Kane Williamson (63 off 43) then put on 92 runs in 68 balls for the second wicket.
Man-of-the-match Williamson scored his fourth half-century of the 2018 IPL season, coming off 32 balls. Overall, he hit seven fours and two sixes.
Hales hit four fours in his knock as Hyderabad crossed 100 in the 13th over. Krishnappa Gowtham (2-18) dismissed Hales and, eight balls later, Williamson was caught behind off Ish Sodhi (1-25).
Hyderabad then lost its way in the death overs and was reduced to 137-5. Manish Pandey, with 16 off 15 balls, was the top-scorer among the middle order batsmen.
Caribbean-born English pacer Jofra Archer took 3-26 as Hyderabad lost all momentum to finish with another sub-par total.
Chasing 152 to win, Rajasthan was jolted early as Sharma bowled opener Rahul Tripathi (4).
Sanju Samson (40 off 30) built on his good run of form, and put on 59 runs off 44 balls with skipper Ajinkya Rahane to revive the chase.
Rahane top-scored with 65 not out off 53 balls, including five fours and a six, while Samson hit three fours and a six.
Kaul got the breakthrough for Hyderabad in the 10th over with Samson caught at short mid-wicket. Rajasthan was reduced to 73-3 with Ben Stokes falling for a three-ball duck, bowled by Pathan.
The hosts kept losing regular wickets as Hyderabad squeezed the scoring through some tight bowling and clever field settings.
Jos Buttler (10) holed out off Khan and Gowtham (8) also failed to get going.
It left Rahane stranded at one end as Hyderabad climbed back to the top of the table with its sixth win in eight games.
“We didn’t get another 15-20 but we did see an improvement (in batting),” Williamson said. “I think it was a par total for that surface. Then to squeeze well without bowling like we have in the past couple games was incredible.”
Later Sunday, Kolkata opener Lynn was dropped on 7 as his team ended its two-game losing run and chased down Bangalore’s 175-4. Lynn went on to hit seven fours and a six.
The visitors finished on 176-4 with five balls to spare as Virat Kohli’s 68 not out off 44 balls went in vain.
Kolkata made a quick start thanks to Sunil Narine’s 27-run cameo off 19 balls, with three fours and a six. He was caught off Murugan Ashwin (2-36).
Lynn and Robin Uthappa (36) put on 49 runs off 31 balls for the second wicket before rain intervened. After a short shower, play resumed without any loss of overs.
Kolkata crossed 100 in the 12th over but lost Uthappa as Ashwin took his second wicket of the evening.
The match hung in the balance as Nitish Rana (15) retired hurt and Andre Russell (0) skied a catch off the first ball he faced.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik (23 off 10) hit two fours and a six, which took his side close to victory.
Kohli took a fantastic diving catch at long on to dismiss Karthik but Lynn stayed on at the other end to reach his half-century off 42 balls as well as finish off the formalities.
Earlier, Bangalore missed AB de Villiers who didn’t feature in the game owing to sickness. Coming into the side in his place, Brendon McCullum hit 38 off 28 balls and put on 67 off 49 with Quinton de Kock (29) for the opening wicket.
The hosts lost three quick wickets and went from 67-0 to 75-3. De Kock was caught off Kuldeep Yadav (1-20) while Andre Russell (3-31) accounted for both McCullum and Manan Vohra (0) who played on first ball.
It left Kohli to spearhead the innings and he scored this season’s third half-century off 37 balls, including five fours and three sixes.
Despite his best efforts to help put up a challenging total, Bangalore again came up short in the field and has five defeats in seven games thus far.
“175 was a really good score but if we field like that, we don’t deserve to win,” Kohli said.—AP