Rajasthan Royals won the fifth game of the IPL season to keep their hopes of a place in the playoffs alive when they clinically beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last home game. Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone set up the chase and Sanju Samson saw the Royals home with 7 wickets and 5 balls to spare. Rajasthan Royals win meant that Chennai Super Kings becomes the first team assured of a place in the playoffs this season.
Sloppy fielding saw David Warner getting 5 runs off the first ball. Trying to leave the ball bowled by Varun Aaron Warner inadvertently touched the ball towards point. The fielder rushed in and had a shy at the stumps which led to four overthrows. Poor throwing and miss-fielding led to SRH getting at least 20 additional runs in their inning. Shreyas Gopal castled Kane Williamson in his first and the fourth over of the match with a googly. But Manish Pandey, who continued in the same vein as he did against Chennai Super Kings, drove Gopal’s first ball to him through the covers for a four.
With Pandey playing the attacking game, Sunrisers finished the power play with a decent 51 runs on the board. Warner found the going difficult on a slow pitch and played second fiddle to Pandey. The duo put on a partnership of 75 runs for the second wicket with the Pandey scoring 50 of the runs. Warner was out to a brilliant catch by Steve Smith who had to run back and dive full length to hold on to the ball. David Warner had scored no boundary in his 37 runs off 32 balls. Shreyas foxed Pandey with the last ball of the fifteenth over to have him stumped by Sanju Samson. Pandey’s 61 runs from 36 balls were studded with 9 boundaries.
Post Pandey’s dismissal, when Sunrisers were well placed with 121 for 3 wickets from fifteen overs, it was looking like Sunrisers would finish in the region of 180 runs. But they lost six wickets including that of Pandey for just 26 runs from 28 balls. Jaydev Unadkat excelled in the field taking three brilliant catches, including one off his own bowling and taking 2 wickets while conceding only26 runs. It was Rashid Khan's ten runs off the last two balls of the inning that helped Hyderabad reach 160 for 8.
Ajinkya Rahane and Liam Livingstone gave Rajasthan a good start finishing the power play with 60 runs on the board. Together they scored 16 runs off Rashid Khan’s first over, while Livingstone, who opened an inning for the first time in the IPL, scored 20 runs from the sixth over bowled by Sidharth Kaul. Rashid Khan got his own back when he had Livingstone feather a quicker ball to Sanju Samson behind the stumps. Livingstone hit four boundaries and three sixes in his inning of 44 off 26 balls in a partnership of 78 runs. Rahane (39 from 34 balls) picked out Warner at long-off when he tried to hit Shakib Al Hasan out of the ground.
With the required run rate well under control, Steve Smith and Sanju Samson put together 55 runs for the third wicket to see Rajasthan Royals within touching distance of a victory. By the time Smith (22 runs from 16 balls) was out at the end of the seventeenth over, Royals needed just 13 runs from 18 balls at a run rate of 4.33 runs per over. Ashton Turner, who came in to bat on the back of 5 consecutive ‘ducks,’ was relieved when he scored a run off the first ball that he faced. Sanju Samson (48* from 32 balls) hit a four off the first ball of the last over to see Rajasthan Royals home with seven wickets in hand. Rajasthan Royals are now placed third from the bottom and face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday in a match that is a must-win for both the teams.