Rajasthan pacers restrict SRH to 175/9

Chennai, May 24 (PTI) Sandeep Sharma, the master operator on tacky surfaces, made use of his skill-sets to optimum effect as Rajasthan Royals restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to a decent yet manageable 175 for 9 in the second Qualifier of the IPL here on Friday. The Royals bowling could be segregated into three distinct parts despite Heinrich Klaasen’s half-century (50, 34b) that had four maximums.

Trent Boult (3/45) started the slide in the Powerplays, Sandeep choked the ‘Orange Army’ batters in the middle overs while Avesh Khan 2.0 was as menacing at the death (3/27) as he has been throughout the tournament.

But it was the canny Sandeep (2/25 in 4 overs), who took pace off his deliveries as Sunrisers batters were literally ‘Short Third-Manned’ with four batters failing to clear the fielder stationed at the edge of the 30-yard circle.

Yuzvendra Chahal manning the slot took three catches while Ravichandran Ashwin also got one at the same position.

The problem that SRH batters, including the in-form Travis Head (34 off 28 balls), faced was the lack of pace in the surface that became a hindrance while using it for the traditional T20 ramp scoops.

Abhishek Sharma (12) at the start became indiscreet when he played one shot too many off Boult and was holed out.

The ploy to use Ashwin (0/43 in 4 overs) with the new ball because of his familiarity with Chepauk didn’t work as Rahul Tripathi (37 off 15 balls) hit the senior off-spinner out of the attack.

Just when it seemed that he was taking control on a day when Head wasn’t getting his timing right, his poor shot selection while trying to hit Boult over short third became his undoing.

Aiden Markram’s re-entry in playing XI didn’t pay dividends as he was out slashing at short third-man. However with Klaasen for company, SRH were clawing back at 99 for 3 when Head paid for his profligacy with Sandeep rolling his fingers over.

Klaasen understood that the ball wasn’t coming onto the bat and only went for the jugular to the deliveries that were in his arc as he got one of his better half-centuries in difficult conditions before a slower delivery on the blockhole rattled the furniture.

With Klaasen’s departure, the chances of getting past 200 also went through the window.

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