IPL Eliminator: Brad Hodge helps Royals beat Sunrisers - The New Indian Express

IPL Eliminator: Brad Hodge helps Royals beat Sunrisers

Published: 22nd May 2013 07:57 PM

Last Updated: 23rd May 2013 12:01 AM

Cometh the hour cometh the man. Seasoned campaigner Brad Hodge (54 off 29 balls, 2x4, 5x6) snatched a brilliant win for Rajasthan Royals to take the team to the Qualifier 2 when they rallied to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in the Eliminator at Ferozshah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday. The winners meet Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 2 for a place in the final against Chennai Super Kings.

The Royals chased a small target of 133 in 19.2 overs with Hodge, fittingly, clubbing two successive sixes off Darren Sammy in the last over. CSK along with Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals qualified for the Champions League.

It was a very important victory for Rahul Dravid and his men. Battling adversity and embarrassment, the Royals put behind the nightmare of the spot fixing to

shatter the dreams of Sunrisers.

Being reduced to 57 for 5, the 38-year-old Hodge walked in with Royals on the back foot. But the Aussie, helped by a poor bowling by young leg spinner Karan Sharma, chanced his arm superbly to take 18 runs, included two sixes and one four in one over, to change the course of the match.

Chasing a modest target of 133, Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid was out for 12, falling to Ishant Sharma. But Ishant was wayward in his third spell when he gave 15 runs. Shane Watson threatened to take the match away with a 15-ball 24 before Darren Sammy pulled off a spectacular catch at deep mid-wicket.

The match turned head on as Sammy dismissed Dishant Yagnik. Sunrisers tightened the screws with Amit Mishra taking a return catch off Ajinkya Rahane.

There was more misery for Royals as Sammy sneaked through Stuart Binny's defence. Royals were in deep trouble at 57 for 5 in 10 overs before Hodge changed the script for Royals.

Earlier, electing to bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad recovered from 3 for 2 to post 132 for 7 wickets in 20 overs. The wicket, which was on slower side, was not the exactly the right surface for a Twenty20 cricket.

The batsmen found it difficult to play their strokes. Even an aggressive batsman like Shikhar Dhawan struggled. He made 39-ball 33, hitting only three fours.

But the left-hander along with skipper Cameron White (31; 28 balls, 5x4) and later Darren Sammy (29 off 21 balls, 3x6) played bold strokes to take the Sunrisers past the 100-mark.

In fact, Sunrisers had been putting up scores of 130-odd and successfully defending them in Hyderabad during the league stages. Skipper White had mentioned at the toss that the wicket resembled of Hyderabad wicket.

Sunrisers crawled to 48 for 2 in 10 overs but immediately thereafter skipper Cameron White fell. He was out to a tame shot, giving a simple catch to wide mid-on. He made an useful contribution of 31 (28 balls 5x4) and added 52 runs for the third wicket with left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan.

The wicket continued to play slow. The Rajasthan bowlers were also spot on and the batsmen struggled to get runs. Siddharth Trivedi bowled very miserly with his back of length deliveries. The batsmen found it difficult to score off Trivedi, who finished his four over spell, conceding only 18 runs and bagging the wicket of White.

It was finally left to West Indies skipper Darren Sammy to free himself of the shackles and hit the first six by hoisting Shane Watson over long-on boundary. Sunrisers scored 29 runs in the five overs between 10th and the 15th of the innings.

After a long wait, a frustrated Dhawan got his third boundary when he reverse swept  James Faulkner but departed the next ball when his scoop shot went awry and the catch was taken at short fine-leg.

Sunrisers were 83 for 4 at Dhawan’s exit. Thisara Perera got into the act by lofting Faulkner through extra cover boundary. Sammy slammed his second six

by clubbing Cooper over long-on. Cooper went on concede another six in his third over with Perera smacking over long-off.

Sammy opened out and got his third six over mid-wicket off Watson. But Sammy ran himself out while going for a risky second run. He drove Watson to covers but substitute fielder Shukla’s throw had the batsman short. Sammy was furious. But he had by then revived the Sunrisers’ innings. Left-hander Perera edged Watson to wicketkeeper in the same over with team being reduced to 113 for 6 in 18 overs.

A couple of lusty hits from Biplab Samantray (14 off 11 balls) before he was run out and a few more scrambled runs saw the Sunrisers get to a defendable 132 for 7.

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