In IPL we often witness sides opening their bowling onslaught with spin, but in this match, Williamson held Rashid back for after the first six. His Smart Economy of 4.89 between overs 6-15 was second best to Sunrisers’ MVP of 2016 – Mustafizur Rahman, whose economy was pegged at 4.66. He made the ball talk immediately, beating Stokes twice and conceding just one off his first over. This pressure to hit out resulted in Stokes holing out to long on in the next over.
Shakib, later on, added fuel to the fire and did what he is best at – played the holding job to perfection by varying his lengths and pace cleverly. Since 2015, he averages 38 in the middle overs and rarely strikes in this period. On Tuesday, he picks up the wickets of Tripathi and Samson in the space of four deliveries in the 14th over to leave Royals tottering at 95 for 5 after 14 overs.
This left Jos Buttler needing to do some late damage to haul them close to 150. It proved to be a task too steep as Buttler would chop on to Rashid’s slider. That they eventually got what they did was down to Shreyas Gopal’s run-a-ball 18 full of dinks and dabs.
Dhawan shows class:
Dhawan has been one of the effective batsman options for Sunrisers even with the strike rate of 114.57. On Tuesday, in the place of Warner, Wriddhiman Saha was sent up to open but fell in an attempt to loft over the infield. Dhawan then took the responsibility of taking charge against the RR bowlers and ended up playing Warner’s role to perfection in slamming a 33-ball half-century. There was a bit of luck support for the left-hander, however as he was put down at first slip on zero off the very first over. Also while looking to flay a Dhawal Kulkarni lifter outside off, he found a thick edge that was put down by Rahane on the second attempt.
Dhawan may have been a bit edgy initially but later on, he soon found his rhythm by slamming Kulkarni for a boundary and an uppercut for six off his next over to set Sunrisers on track. This meant Williamson didn’t need to flex his muscle and relied on pure timing and hand-eye coordination to pick off runs. The half-century stand was raised off just 27 balls. It really was all too easy from there.