Steve Smith's Rajasthan pulled off a miraculous run chase on Sunday as Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag denied David Warner's Hyderabad a victory despite being second-best for the better part of the game.
Batting first, Hyderabad posted 158/4 - despite starting slow - in 20 overs and managed to keep Rajasthan within reach. With Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith and Sanju Samson all getting out early, the onus came on Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag; two batsmen who batted through their full potential to achieve what was seeming like an impossible target.
What a win for Rajasthan Royals.— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 11, 2020
They were 78 for 5 from 12 overs while chasing 159 then two Indian uncapped players Riyan Parag - 42*(26) & Tewatia - 45*(28) added unbeaten 85 runs from 47 balls and seal the deal.
The win takes Rajasthan level on points with Hyderabad, but a place behind them due to lower net run rate. That said, here are the key talking points from a game that produced one of the most entertaining finishes.
Warner continues to struggle against Archer
The lead-up to the game was all about the Archer-Warner rivalry. The England paceman had gotten the better of the Aussie during Australia’s tour of England ahead of the Indian T20 League, and he was at it once again at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Warner might have scored a quick-fire 48 off 38 deliveries, but he could only manage to churn out a mere three runs against Archer today, further outlining his struggles while facing the 25-year-old.
Table: Warner against Archer in 2020 (all formats).
Since the turn of the year, Warner has scored a measly total of 28 runs in 41 balls against Archer in all formats, striking at a poor rate of 68.29, and has been dismissed a whopping five times. He has starting to develop a trend here.
On Sunday, Warner’s struggles were made evident in as early as the first ball of the game, as he mistimed his drive at a full-toss at outside off. The Englishman alongside Shreyas Gopal managed to keep both Warner and Bairstow in check as the duo could only manage 26 runs in the Powerplay overs; lowest by the team in the ongoing edition.
|Match#||Match||Date||Venue||Innings||Bat Team||Bowl Team||Runs||Wkts|
|26||Hyderabad vs Rajasthan||11-Oct-20||Dubai (DSC)||1st||Hyderabad||Rajasthan||26||1|
|11||Delhi vs Hyderabad||29-Sep-20||Abu Dhabi||1st||Hyderabad||Delhi||38||0|
|8||Kolkata vs Hyderabad||26-Sep-20||Abu Dhabi||1st||Hyderabad||Kolkata||40||1|
|14||Chennai vs Hyderabad||02-Oct-20||Dubai (DSC)||1st||Hyderabad||Chennai||42||1|
|3||Hyderabad vs Bangalore||21-Sep-20||Dubai (DSC)||2nd||Hyderabad||Bangalore||48||1|
|17||Mumbai vs Hyderabad||04-Oct-20||Sharjah||2nd||Hyderabad||Mumbai||56||1|
|22||Hyderabad vs Punjab||08-Oct-20||Dubai (DSC)||1st||Hyderabad||Punjab||58||0|
Table: Hyderabad in Powerplay overs in Indian T20 League 2020
Are Khaleel and Natarajan compensating for Bhuvneshwar's loss?
The loss of Bhuvneshwar Kumar was bound to hit Hyderabad hard, but against Rajasthan - a team that has one of the strongest foreign contingents - his absence was hardly felt in the opening overs as Khaleel Ahmed and Thangarasu Natarajan managed to hit the ground running. Khaleel set the momentum in his very first over, dismissing a dangerous Ben Stokes off the crease with an excellent short ball. His first ball of the second over was a dismissal of Jos Buttler, a batsman who was just setting up the momentum. Buttler averages a mere 9.1 against Hyderabad; his worst against any other Indian T20 League side.
Table: Buttler against Hyderabad in Indian T20 League
For Khaleel, he did go for 10 runs in that over, but Natarajan made up for that leak, delivering a subsequent maiden to pile the pressure on Rajasthan. While the duo was relatively economical in the opening overs, they were torn apart in the death. Natarajan conceded 14 runs in his final over and Khaleel 12, ending with an economy of 8.00 and 9.65 respectively.
'Lucky' Tewatia wins it for Rajasthan - AGAIN
You just cannot write Rahul Tewatia off, can you? The 27-year-old Haryana native is in sensational form this season, and it was his effort, alongside Riyan Parag, that took Rajasthan out of the jaws of defeat. Rajasthan were 105/5 after 16 overs, hitting at a rate of just 6.56 runs per over. All they needed was one or maybe two overs to turn the game on its ahead.
Warner brought Sandeep Sharma in the attack, a decision he might regret, as the pacer was hit for 18 runs in the 17th over. Tewatia caused further carnage against a mighty Rashid Khan, hitting the Afghan leggie for three back-to-back boundaries to bring Rajasthan back in the game. Well, there was luck involved as the 27-year-old survived a scare after the bails didn't go off in a stumping effort, but a win is a win.
When they buy a marquee player, franchises hope for 3 or 4 match-winning performances. In a team with four superstars, Rahul Tewatia, bought for 30 lakh, has already won Rajasthan two games #SRHvRR— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) October 11, 2020
With 22 runs still needed in the final two overs, Tewatia and Parag combined for 14 runs in the 19th over before finishing off the game with a maximum. A game that was going right for Hyderabad's way was snatched at the death by an 85-run stand between Tewatia and Parag.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / Indian T20 League