Sunrisers Hyderabad trump Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs to set up IPL 2024 Final against KKR

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Sunrisers Hyderabad has a chance to lift the IPL title for the second time

Sunrisers Hyderabad trounced Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs in Qualifier 2 of the 2024 Indian Premier League season to set up a final clash against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

SRH skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and decided to bat first with dew not expected to play a major part on Friday evening at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai as it did in Ahmedabad.

While the Royals decided to stick to their winning combination from the Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, the Daniel Vettori-coached Sunrisers made two changes bringing in Aiden Markram and Jaydev Unadkat in place of Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Sanvir Singh.

Abhishek Sharma gave the Sunrisers a blistering start in the first over smashing a maximum over the mid-wicket region and a four against Trent Boult who took his revenge on the Punjab all-rounder by dismissing him on the last ball of the first over.

Rahul Tripathi walked in to bat at No.3 and the Ranchi-born batter started counter-attacking while Travis Head held one end. In the fourth over of the innings bowled by Ashwin, Tripathi scored two consecutive fours followed by a maximum over the deep fine leg region.

Tripathi started the fifth over bowled by Boult with yet another six that flew over the deep fine leg region followed by a four through the point region. On the third ball of that over, Boult struck for the second time in his innings as Tripathi found Yuzvendra Chahal at the short third-man position ending his innings at a score of 37 runs off 15 balls.

On the last ball of the fifth over, the Kiwi fast bowler took his third wicket of the innings as Markram ended his brief return to a cricket ground with Chahal pouching another easy catch ending the Proteas skipper’s innings at a score of 1 run.

Head finally unleashed in the sixth over against Sandeep Sharma smashing two fours followed by a six and a four off Avesh Khan’s bowling in the next over. Chahal was introduced into the attack in the 8th over and Heinrich Klaasen welcomed the wrist-spinner with a huge maximum over the deep mid-wicket region.

The duo of Head and Klaasen could have taken away the contest from the Royals but the Australian batter fell to Sandeep as Ravichandran Ashwin completed a regulation catch to send Head back to the pavilion after contributing 34 runs off 28 balls.

The Royals continued their domination of the middle overs as Nitish Reddy had a steady start before Klaasen released some pressure with a much-needed maximum off Chahal’s bowling. In the next over, Chahal continued to have a great time in the field as he completed another catch with Avesh dismissing Reddy on a score of 5 runs off 10 balls.

On the very next ball, Avesh went through Abdul Samad’s gates bamboozling the power-hitter who could only procure a golden duck in the crucial fixture. Losing 6 wickets by the end of the 14th over saw Travis Head being replaced by Shahbaz Ahmed who rebuilt the Sunrisers’ innings along with Klaasen.

Chahal started the 15th over with a wide and a maximum as Klaasen continued the onslaught despite wickets falling from the other end but the wrist-spinner conceded only 5 runs in the next five deliveries. 

After a quiet 16th over bowled by Avesh, Ashwin conceded 14 runs in the 17th over which started with a maximum by Shahbaz as he read the length early and punished Ashwin for bowling the delivery too short.

Heinrich Klaasen yet again proved himself on the big stage

Klaasen too started the 18th over with a six against Boult and brought up his half-century off 33 balls later in the over. Sandeep continued to have a brilliant spell when he castled Klaasen on the first ball of the penultimate over before conceding 6 runs off the next five deliveries.

In the last over, Shahbaz fell to Avesh as Dhruv Jurel completed a fine catch before Unadkat channelled his inner AB de Villiers to smash the ball to the fence for four runs before he was run out on the last ball of the innings.

Chasing the target of 176 runs, Yashaswi Jaiswal hammered the ball for a maximum off the last ball of the first over and continued to punish Bhuvneshwar Kumar with a four in the third over of the innings.

Skipper Pat Cummins continued to bowl economically from his end as Tom Kohler-Cadmore was struggling to break the shackles and ended his innings at a score of 10 runs off 16 balls as Tripathi pouched the Englishman’s catch.

After the RR batters could only score 28 runs off the first 29 balls, Samson scored his first boundary of the innings followed by Jaiswal smacking 19 runs off the next over bowled by Bhuvneshwar with a six and three fours keeping the Royals in good stead during the run-chase.

Jaiswal continued to have a good time in Chennai as he welcomed Shahbaz with a reverse sweep that went for a maximum but the southpaw ended his innings later in the over as he holed out in the deep with Samad completing the catch.

Abhishek Sharma was introduced into the attack in the next over and it proved to be a masterstroke as RR skipper Sanju Samson also holed out in the deep with the ball sticking in the surface aiding SRH’s cause.

Riyan Parag and Dhruv Jurel rebuilt the innings at a slow pace which proved to be too much pressure for the Assam batter as Abhishek was involved once again, completing the catch off Shahbaz’s bowling on the first ball of the 12th over. Ashwin was promoted up the order to arrest the RR slide but the spin wizard failed to read the turn on the pitch and was undone in the same over, caught behind the wicket by Klaasen.

Impact substitute Shimron Hetmyer walked out to bat next but the Caribbean power-hitter was also clean bowled by Abhishek as the Punjab all-rounder continues to put his name ahead for the Indian team after the conclusion of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup.

Jurel hit many boundaries procuring runs from his end displaying reverse sweeps, classy drives, and wristy flicks bringing RR back into the game single-handedly as RR needed 53 runs from the last 18 balls.

On the first ball of the 18th over, Jurel was dealt a nasty blow by T Natarajan and Rovman Powell was dismissed later in the over with Abhishek completing yet another catch to dismiss the West Indies skipper cheaply.

Jurel kickstarted the penultimate over with two boundaries bringing up his half-century and struck another boundary in the last over but it proved to be “too little too late” as SRH sealed the 36-run win courtesy of a brilliant effort on the field. The Kavya Maran-owned side now has the chance to seal their second IPL title on Sunday but Shah Rukh Khan’s KKR would be the team to beat in the final which would be a huge task.