Sunrisers Hyderabad outplays Rajasthan Royals in every department to clinch an important victory in Dubai on Thursday.
The top three teams in the IPL 2020 are clear now, but the race for the fourth position is intriguing. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) managed to make this race even more interesting by clinching a comfortable win by eight wickets against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on October 22 in Dubai.
Courtesy of this victory, SRH moved fifth in the points table. They remain two points behind fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders, but a positive net run rate gives SRH an edge over them if the remaining results go in their favour. Let us have a look at important takeaways from SRH’s convincing victory against RR on Thursday.
RR continue pointless experiment with the batting order
Despite previous struggles in the tournament, RR continues to experiment with the batting order. The experiment of using Ben Stokes as an opener continues to fail as the Englishman once again failed to make an impact on Thursday. Moreover, using Stokes as the opener and moving Jos Butler down the order does not help the team’s balance in batting.
Robin Uthappa is doing well as an opener, so RR needs to move back Butler in his favoured role and use Stokes as a middle-order batsman. The Rajasthan based franchise is running out of time in the tournament. They need victories in the remaining three games to stand a chance, so there is no point in experimenting with the batting line up.
SRH’s middle-order rises to the occasion
SRH has heavily relied on Jonny Bairstow and David Warner to do the bulk of scoring this tournament. Whenever they have got out cheaply, the team has struggled to post or chase down a good total. RR managed to post an under-par total on Thursday. However, they got the dream start while defending that total by sending Warner and Bairstow back to the pavilion inside three overs.
It was time for SRH’s middle order to step up and they managed to do it handsomely. Manish Pandey has been fairly inconsistent throughout the tournament. He needed a big score under his belt. The Indian batsmen decided to counterattack RR by scoring 83 runs in just 47 balls.
At the other end, Vijay Shankar scored a run a ball half-century, providing him ample support in the middle. It was a solid outing for SRH’s middle order. They will need more such performances to go deep into the tournament.
Jason Holder makes an instant impact
After suffering defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in super over, SRH was forced to make a change as Kane Williamson suffered an injury. The Hyderabad based franchise brought in Jason Holder to bolster batting and bowling units.
This move from SRH’s team management turned out to be a masterstroke. Holder’s variations in bowling helped the team to halt RR’s progress in batting on numerous occasions. He ended up taking three wickets in four overs, which included big wickets of Sanju Samson and Steve Smith. Holder also contributed to the runout of Robin Uthappa. It was a very impactful performance from Holder after watching games from the sidelines in the tournament till now.
By Kiran Thakare