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IPL 2018 | Shikhar Dhawan’s 77 guides Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory against Rajasthan Royals

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BCCI

IPL 2018 | Shikhar Dhawan’s 77 guides Sunrisers Hyderabad to victory against Rajasthan Royals

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SportsCafe Desk

04/09/2018

After Sidharth Kaul’s calculative bowling display, Shikhar Dhawan brought his brilliant self to the fore in the match against Rajasthan Royals to lead Hyderabad to a 9-wicket victory in Hyderabad today. Earlier, the Royals could only manage to score a paltry 125, which proved too easy for the hosts.

Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson decided to field first at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium and picked Billy Stanlake, Rashid Khan, and Shakib Al Hasan as their overseas complement alongside himself. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals picked England's Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, BBL’s highest run-scorer D'Arcy Short, and Ben Laughlin as their four foreign picks. 

Kaul, Shakib restrict Royals to below par score

After returning to the league after a hiatus of two years, the pressure was on Rajasthan Royals to get off to a good start, but their beginning was anything but that. A direct throw from Williamson did the trick for the Sunrisers as Short got out for 4, which made way for the team’s old dog Sanju Samson, who instantly found his groove and hit a boundary to get going. However, the disciplined bowling and the straight ball strangulation resulted in Rajasthan Royals stuck in a position with nowhere to go. Although Samson tried his level best to bail the team out, he didn’t find any support from the other end and they were reduced to 96/6 within 15 overs. The situation was more to do with the way Siddharth Kaul kept on bowling the straight balls and also managed to move around just a bit, which prevented the Royals players from opening their arms. Thanks to a laborious 18 runs by Shreyas Gopal, the returning franchise eventually managed to salvage some pride and set a target of 126 runs for the 2016 Champions.

Dhawan fifty guides Sunrisers home

Chasing a small target of 126 was not going to be difficult for the hosts, and despite losing Wriddhiman Saha for 5, the pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson steadied the ship and guided the team to 57/1 within the powerplay overs. Dhawan, especially, was the main hitter for the hosts and targeted the cover and straight boundaries to milk runs regularly. On the other hand, Williamson made sure that the team didn’t suffer any sudden collapse considering the difficult nature of the wicket. The Rajasthan bowlers were also guilty of not bowling to any plans and their lack of any sort of incision meant that Dhawan punished them in the only way he can. Although the Royals employed all their options in an attempt to bring an end to the partnership, they failed to do so and the Indian opener completed his 50 in the 10th over and eventually took the team down the line to start their campaign on a good note. 

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