It was a new-look Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on the field at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday. Outplayed consistently right through the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, they rung in the changes with Jason Roy replacing an out-of-sorts David Warner at the top.
The top order that struggled for momentum also wore a different look as Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav were benched with Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma coming in, while Siddharth Kaul replaced an injured Khaleel Ahmed.
Roy justified the move with a 60 (42b, 4×8, 6×1) and infused some life into the flagging spirits of Sunrisers Hyderabad as they successfully picked up the pieces to register their second win of the tournament — an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals.
Along with Wriddhiman Saha, Roy gave Sunrisers a fluent start as they got to 63/1 in the Powerplay and added 57 for the second wicket with skipper Kane Williamson.
When on 55, Roy was reprieved by Yashasvi Jaiswal off Rahul Tewatia — who was creamed for 21 in the 11th over. It did not prove costly but the start he provided eased the burden considerably for those who followed.
Williamson applied the finishing touches with an unbeaten 51 (41b, 4×5, 6×1) in the company of young Abhishek Sharma (21*, 16b, 4×1, 6×1) and the duo’s unbroken 53-run stand for the fourth wicket that took Sunrisers to 167/3 upstaged skipper Sanju Samson’s 82 (57b, 4×7, 6×3), which helped Royals post 164/5.
Yashasvi Jaiswal (36; 23b, 5x, 6×1) added 56 for the second wicket with Samson and though Jaiswal and Liam Livingstone fell in quick succession, the skipper continued his good work to become the Orange cap holder with 433 runs.
Having seen the damage Harshal Patel wreaked on Sunday with slower deliveries, the Sunrisers’ bowlers utilised them well. But RR captain Samson was in a different zone as the last two overs of Rashid Khan fetched 20 runs.
A miscued straight hit off Kaul that sailed over the boundary was in celebration of the half-century he crossed earlier and a pull over mid-wicket that took Samson past the 3000-run mark in IPL fetched RR 20 runs in the 16th over.
Sadly, his effort wasn’t enough.