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Sunrisers Edge Royals in Nail-Biting Finish

The nail-biting win takes SRH to fourth place, where they are tied with Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants on 12 points…reports Asian Lite News

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked a brilliant 3-41, while Pat Cummins and T Natarajan took two wickets each as Sunrisers Hyderabad came out of nowhere to clinch a dramatic and thrilling one-run win over Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday.

After Nitish Reddy was outstanding in a magnificent display of stroke-play to hit an unbeaten 42-ball 76, while Travis Head made 58 off 44 balls as the duo carried SRH to a huge 201/3, Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets in a brilliant first over and took out Rovman Powell on the final ball as the hosts’ won by the barest of margins.

Despite that initial setback of losing Jos Buttler and captain Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 40-ball 67 and Riyan Parag’s 49-ball 77 helped RR be in the hunt of clinching an impressive win. But once the duo’s 133-run partnership was broken, SRH roared their way back in the game to seal it and complete a remarkable comeback, giving RR its first defeat while chasing in the season.

The nail-biting win takes SRH to fourth place, where they are tied with Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants on 12 points. RR’s chase of 202 was rocked by Bhuvneshwar in the opening over – having Buttler nicking behind to wide slip fielder for a golden duck, while Samson was castled by an inswinger rattling stumps through the gate.

From there, Jaiswal, with his timing and Parag, with his fabulous bat-swing, played breathtaking strokes from both ends against Bhuvneshwar, Pat Cummins, Marco Jansen and T Natarajan. They also had luck on their side – Jaiswal was dropped by Cummins at mid-off and Parag’s chance was shelled by Abhishek Sharma at extra cover, as RR ended power-play at 60/2.

Jaiswal and Parag rampage continued after power-play, before reaching their respective fifties in 30 and 31 balls respectively in the 11th over. But Jaiswal was gone for 67 off 40 balls, playing on to his stumps off Natarajan. Parag hit two sixes and a four before holing out to long-on for 77 off 49 balls to Cummins.

Though Rovman Powell found a few boundaries, SRH’s fightback continued as Shimron Hetmyer hit a low full toss straight to long-on off Natarajan, followed by Dhruv Jurel, who had a left hamstring strain while fielding, flicking straight to deep square leg off Cummins.

Cummins bowled a superb 19th over, giving away only seven runs, despite Powell lofting a six over extra cover on the last ball. With 12 runs needed to win off the final over, and four men outside the 30-yard circle due to slow over-rate, Powell scooped Bhuvneshwar for four. With two runs needed off the final ball, Bhuvneshwar trapped Powell plumb lbw with a low full toss on middle and leg to complete a stunning win for SRH over the table-toppers.

Previosuly, on a fresh pitch, with some grip available for bowlers, Head hit a slow-ish fifty. But Reddy dazzled by hitting three fours and eight sixes, with some of his maximums hit straight down the ground and over cover enthralling the home fans.

Later, Heinrich Klaasen hit an unbeaten 42 off 19, laced with three fours and as many sixes, to take SRH past 200 for the fifth time this season, with their last 12 overs yielding 153 runs. For RR, who conceded a 200+ total for just the second time in this competition, Avesh Khan was impressive in his 2-39, while Sandeep Sharma was tidy in his 1-31.

Electing to bat first, Head could have been out on the first ball if Parag hadn’t shelled the chance at backward point off Trent Boult. With Ravichandran Ashwin beating Head and Abhishek via deliveries gripping and bouncing, a wicket looked imminent for RR.

Avesh reaped the reward of platform set by Boult and Ashwin when he had Abhishek pulling straight to deep square leg. Sandeep also joined Avesh as a wicket-taker when Anmolpreet Singh chipped straight to diving mid-wicket, as SRH ended power-play at 37/2.

Head opened up by cutting Yuzvendra Chahal for four, before pulling the leg-spinner for back-to-back sixes and whipping him through the leg-side for another boundary. While Head brought up his fifty in 37 balls, Nitish began his onslaught by muscling Ashwin for back-to-back sixes, followed by hitting Chahal for two fours and as many sixes in the 13th over.

Head’s knock ended when he shaped for a lap shot off Avesh, but played onto his stumps. Nitish marched on to get his fifty in 30 balls, followed by slog-sweeping and pulling Ashwin for a brace of sixes. From the other end, Klassen was lofting and pulling Chahal for consecutive sixes, as the leg-spinner conceded 62 runs in his four overs.

While Nitish took a six and four off Avesh, Klaasen smashed Boult for two fours, before smashing Sandeep for a four and six in the final over to take SRH past 200, which was sufficient for a win by a solitary run at the end – a possibility which no one saw coming after their slow start.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 201/3 in 20 overs (Nitish Reddy 76 not out, Travis Head 58; Avesh Khan 2-39, Sandeep Sharma 1-31) beat Rajasthan Royals 200/7 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 77, Yashasvi Jaiswal 67; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-41, Pat Cummins 2-34) by one run.

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