Manish Pandey struck an impressive half-century on a difficult batting track but Rajasthan Royals restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 158 for 4 in an IPL game here on Sunday. With the pitches getting slower by the day and stroke-making becoming increasingly difficult, Pandey struggled initially but finished with two fours and three sixes in his 54 off 44 balls.
He had a partnership of 73 off 10 overs for the second wicket with skipper David Warner (48 off 38 balls), who also looked scratchy and struggled for timing. Kane Williamson (22 not out off 12 balls) showed his class briefly at the end, including a one-handed straight six off Royals’ best bowler Jofra Archer (1/25 in 4 overs) and ended with another off the last delivery of the penultimate over.
The young Priyam Garg (15 off 8 balls) also made a valuable little contribution in the final few overs of the innings. It was one of the better days for Jaydev Unadkat (1/31 in 4 overs) as his variation of slower deliveries caused some trouble for the batsmen with only 26 runs coming off the Powerplay.
In all, Rajasthan bowlers managed 42 dot balls, which is seven overs without a run being scored. Jonny Bairstow (16 off 19 balls) and Warner failed to get the ball off square and the harder they hit, the lesser distance it traversed.
Finally, Bairstow broke the shackles with a six off Kartik Tyagi but off the very next delivery, he was taken brilliantly in the deep by Sanju Samson. Pandey and Warner then steadied the ship hitting the occasional sixes. Pandey’s straight six off Shreyas Gopal’s tossed up delivery was a magnificent shot.
In fact, the Sunrisers batsmen found it easier to hit sixes — nine of them in all than the fours (only six) during their innings..