RR got off to a terrific start with the bat as Jos Buttler (54 off 22) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (54 off 37) added 85 for the first wicket in 5.5 overs. Buttler smashed seven fours and three sixes before being bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi. The latter also dismissed Jaiswal, who struck nine fours in his half-century.
Following the dismissal of the openers, Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson continued the great work. He too displayed sublime form, smashing 55 off 32 balls with the aid of three fours and four sixes. A cameo from Shimron Hetmyer (22 not out off 16) lifted RR past the 200-run mark.
Chasing 204, Hyderabad were jolted early by Trent Boult, who cleaned up Abhishek Sharma (0) in the first over and also added the scalp of Rahul Tripathi (0). Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal then ran through the batting order, registering wonderful figures of 4/17. Chahal dismissed Mayank Agarwal (27), Harry Brook (13), Adil Rashid (18) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (6).
Bhuvneshwar’s dismissal left SRH in all sorts of trouble at 95/8. Abdul Samad (32 not out off 32) and Umran Malik (19 not out off 8) ensured Hyderabad at least did not get bowled out.
Speaking after the emphatic win, Sanju Samson said, he was wondering how they’ll start this season, adding he was very happy with the result. Samson added, “Having batters like Buttler and Jaiswal, the mindset with which they play the powerplay we can expect such starts. We are a very good side, but you know this format. So we need to keep our heads down.
“Today was a very good start but we are looking at finishing things well. For me, today I wanted to stay there and finish the innings. We will find out if there are any weaknesses as the tournament goes on,” he added.
RR opener Buttler was named Player of the Match for his brilliant half-century.
--By A Cricket Correspondent