IPL 2013: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – Live IPL Score
Reeling under the spot-fixing scandal, a depleted and demoralized Rajasthan Royals lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last league encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, here on Friday night.
Though the Royals are assured of a spot in the qualifiers courtesy their 20 points, the spot-fixing saga has hit them at the wrong time. After losing to Mumbai Indians on Wednesday night, the Rahul Dravid-led side was keen on ending its league matches on a high as a win would have given the team the chance to have a go at the first two spots.
But the arrests of S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila for their role in the scandal and with two of their foreign recruits under the scanner, the Royals are a badly bruised lot. It remains to be seen if the Royals have the resilience to bounce back from this off-the-field incidents.
The scandal could well turn out to be a blessing for the Sunrisers as they are desperate for points. After losing two of their last three games, the hosts had suffered a setback in their quest to find a place in the qualifiers. But Kings XI Punjab did them a big favour by stunning Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday and Thursday’s revelations about the Royals is a shot in the arm for them.
The Sunrisers, who have won five of their six games at the RGIC Stadium, have themselves to blame for their predicament as they failed to put it across Mumbai Indians in their previous game. After being in the driver’s seat for 36 overs and looking all set to hand their rivals their first home defeat, the Sunrisers were done in by the pyrotechnics of a bloke who goes by the name of Kieron Pollard. The giant West Indian, who has had an indifferent season thus far, chose to wake up from his long slumber at the ‘wrong’ moment for the Sunrisers.
Under pressure, the bowling wilted for the second time in the span of a week. After Chennai Super Kings had taken the bowlers to the cleaners at home, it was Pollard who showed that the Sunrisers lack depth in the bowling. Only Dale Steyn could withstand the pressure as the others ran out of ideas and lacked imagination to counter the big-hitter from West Indies.
However, the scheduling has given the hosts a chance to regroup after that murderous assault as they had four days off. With their batteries recharged, the Sunrisers will be keen on getting things right in their final two home games.
Parthiv Patel’s return to form has come at the right time for the hosts as they now look a bit stronger on the batting front. The wicketkeeper-batsman has not only taken the pressure off his partner Shikhar Dhawan but also given the side a positive start with his aggressive approach.
Dhawan has continued his good run and the Sunrisers have a more settled look with useful contributions from Hanuma Vihari, Cameron White, Thisara Perera and Karan Sharma, It remains to be seen how they fare against the Royals’ attack, which while not being threatening is quite a handful.
But the battle will again be between the Sunrisers’ attack and the Royals’ batting.