Samad, Phillips steal the show in blockbuster run-chase


Samad, Phillips steal the show in blockbuster run-chase

by Staff • Last updated on Sun, May 7, 2023

SRH clinched a nailbiter
SRH clinched a nailbiter

In one of the more thrilling finishes of recent times, bottom-ranked SRH pulled off a daylight heist against the Rajasthan Royals, chasing down 215 off the final ball. With five runs required off the final ball, Sandeep Sharma of Rajasthan Royals bowled a no-ball, allowing Abdul Samad a second chance to seal a win for SRH, which he did, smashing a straight six and breathing some air into SRH’s deflated campaign. But let us start at the very beginning…

The usual carnage

Yashasvi Jaiswal has made a habit out of getting RR off to a flying start, particularly as Jos Buttler suffers a bit of a trough in his form. The two openers carted their way to a half-century stand, with Jaiswal taking the lead and Buttler playing second fiddle. However, Jaiswal’s pyrotechnics were cut short by Marco Jansen, but that couldn’t stop RR from ending a dominant powerplay, with the scorecard reading 61-1.

The real Jos Buttler shows up

That’s right. RR’s talisman, and perhaps a chief reason behind their recent downfall, found his lost mojo and took on the SRH bowler’s along with Sanju Samson, carting Abhishek Sharma and Mayank Markande in particular, following his captain’s lead. His face showed relief when he took the single to get to his fifty off 32 balls, and the fact that this is one of his slower fifties speaks volumes about his prowess and perhaps spells doom for his upcoming opponents.

A pink massacre and the first innings hoodoo

Jos Buttler clubbed his way and toyed with the bowling to get to the nineties, and by no means did Samson play second fiddle, matching Buttler stroke for stroke. The pair put on 138 runs in 81 balls, sparing no one, before a yorker from Bhuvneshwar Kumar pinned Buttler in front for 95 (courtesy DRS) — a relief for SRH, perhaps saving them a few runs at the death. Samson wrapped it up with some lusty blows in the final over, scoring 17 off it, bringing the day’s first innings aggregate to 441 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 40 overs across two games.

The slow knife

SRH didn’t exactly set the stage on fire, even in response to a 215-run target facing them. However, by the time Anmolpreet fell, they had scored 51 runs in the powerplay and had certainly accelerated maturely rather than going Hail Mary at the RR bowlers from the get-go. Despite the required rate being over 12, Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi continued to milk the runs, save wickets, and encash every boundary ball available.

Two crucial stands

…between Tripathi and Sharma, worth 65 runs off 41 balls, and then between Sharma and Klaasen – 41 off 19 balls, that handed SRH the momentum and more importantly, belief that they could pull this off. The required rate always remained above the current rate, but the consistent boundaries prevented the pressure from mounting and therefore prevented rash shots. SRH were on the verge of something special, before…

Yuzvendra Chahal turns the tables

On a day that saw 11 wickets fall in three innings (across two double-headers), Yuzvendra Chahal led a crucial 3-wicket collapse from 157-2 to 174-5, getting rid of Klaasen, Markram and Tripathi in a two-over window. The required rate was now nearing twenty, with Abdul Samad and Glenn Phillipsat the center. Could they pull it off, or would SRH submit to their fate?

A blockbuster finish

After warming the bench for most of the season, Glenn Phillips struck 6,6,6,4 to bring the equation down from 41 off 12 to 19 off 8. He was then dismissed to bring it to 19 off 7, and just when we thought we’d seen everything after Rinku’s sixes, with 5 required off 1, Abdul Samad, handed a catch to long-off to send the Royals into raptures… and then, it happened.

The siren rang, and it turned out that Sandeep Sharma had overstepped, bringing the equation to 4 off 1. And Samad did the needful, getting on his knee and launching the slot ball down the ground for six to resurrect a game that was dead and buried only seconds ago.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 214-2 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 95, Sanju Samson 66*) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 217-6 (Abhishek Sharma 55, Rahul Tripathi 47, Yuzvendra Chahal 4-29)by 4 wickets.

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