Manish Pandey played a fantastic innings, laden with outrageous shots and smart exchange of singles and doubles, to help SRH keep their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, Vijay Shankar had his own sweet moment in the game - both with the bat and ball - to prove his worth at the most opportune time.
RR 6/10 -Robin Uthappa’s second-coming this IPL has been one of the positives for the Royals ahead of the season but he would be kicking himself for wasting what was actually a great start. Ben Stokes was pretty conservative in his batting and failed to open his arms, something the Royals would be disappointed about.
SRH 7/10- When Archer does his thing, it is better to hold your end up! I mean, how would you not? With Williamson not playing, Warner was forced to return to his original opening and almost inevitably, was bullied by Archer, which was of course, compounded by Smith’s tactics of having two slips. An 18-run sixth over took them to 58/2 at the end of PP overs, but this was a rather difficult progress for the 2016 champions.
RR 3/10- You could single-handedly blame Stokes for this middle-over mess-up that the Royals created today, with only 58 runs being added, but it was a classic case of superstars downgrading themselves to ODI mindset. From their body language, you could be sure that they were disinterested.
SRH 8/10- It was the smart middle-overs negotiations that Sunrisers would be glad about. With Pandey attacking right from the outset, Vijay Shankar played sensibly to deal with singles and that added. It ensured the required run-rate never shot up in a game that had the potential of a run-chase disaster. Fair play to the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu duo.
SRH 7.5/10-Sunrisers Hyderabad will be extremely glad about their new recruit Holder, who had been a part of the team in the past, for what he brought to the table. He mixed up short and full balls to confuse RR batsmen for a two-wicket fourth over while Natarajan, despite conceding 17 runs in the last over, squeezed the yorkers at regular intervals.
RR 3/10 - The encounter was virtually sealed in a package for Hyderabad when the last section of the game started, but Shankar used the 16th over to have his own sweet memory. He smashed an Archer yorker for a four down the ground and that was the best fun element in the game. Otherwise, a disappointing bowling performance in the middle-phase cost them the game at the death.
RR should go to the extreme and drop Stokes
Well, this seems the most ideal scenario for the Royals at the moment. Ben Stokes might be a talismanic player for them but his batting impact has been a lot less impactful lately. He has the lowest strike-rate for any batsman to have faced at least 100 balls this IPL and that’s something Stokes will not be happy about. He is not bowling either, so having an overseas spot ready just on the reputation doesn’t really make any sense. In that case, the Royals will be better placed to have someone like David Miller in the middle-order and opening with Uthappa and Samson for better damage on the opposition upfront.
Shankar showcased what it takes to bowl on tired wickets
Vijay Shankar missed a simple catch, fumbled twice in the outfield in two separate occasions, but all of that didn’t matter as he added real value to the side with a fine spell of medium pace bowling. Knowing fully that this was a slow pitch, the TN all-rounder hit the back of length spot time and again, which cramped batsmen for room. It eventually materialised to him giving away just 15 runs in three overs, with Jos Buttler’s dismissal, something SRH would take any day. Other pacers would also take inspiration from this and may use the same tactic in the future.
Is Archer the best IPL bowler currently?
David Warner averages 5.33 against Jofra Archer this year with six dismissals in 45 balls. That’s some dominance by a single bowler but the question here is that of audacity. Can you really imagine anyone having that amount of confidence in their own bowling and runs in as if their life is dependent on it. Archer has possibly beaten everyone to the core in terms of using both bouncers and yorkers as variations, and single-handedly spearheading a side with no freebies. This IPL, he is on the third spot on the highest wicket-takers list but in terms of unflinching dynamism, he will be at the top of the pie for sure.
It was the last two powerplay overs of the Sunrisers run-chase that turned the game on its head. Archer had ensured the Royals advantage with two early wickets, but Pandey hit Stokes and Tyagi for four sixes in that period to bring SRH in the game. Even though the run-scoring tempo fell down subsequently, RR were playing catch-up after that.
Match Frenzy O Meter - BORING
You hope for a short format game to add some thrill and some charisma right from the outset but this match was anything but that. Even the fleeting moments were so short-lived that you would’ve left scratching for joy. Turned out to be a cakewalk for Hyderabad.