Ajinkya Rahane, Man-of-the-Match: Three wickets fell down early so I wanted to bat as long as possible. We just needed one partnership and that's what happened. Me and Binny enjoy each other's company. I backed my instincts today. Credit also goes to SRH bowlers because it was not easy to bat for the first six overs.
That's the end of this match. It's another double header tomorrow in Dubai. Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians followed by Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils.
Shane Watson, Rajasthan Royals captain: I am very proud of the guys and how they were able to execute the plans. 134 was always challenging to chase down but Rahane and Binny did well to take us home. The wicket played really well and we can't complain about the conditions.
Shikhar Dhawan, Sunrisers Hyderabad captain: 150 would have been a good score and we were short by 20 or 30 runs; that's what cost us the game. The pitch was a bit-double-paced and the ball was swinging early on. Unfortunately, me or Warner could not get big scores and that's where we were forced on the backfoot. We won a lot of low-scorers last season and our bowlers did well to take the game to the last over tonight. Our batsmen need to do a better job and make things easier for the bowlers.
23:39 IST: Rajasthan Royals defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets. Ajinkya Rahane scored a solid 59 off 53 balls while Stuart Binny slammed an unbeaten 48 off 32 deliveries after the Royals lost three early wickets in a tricky chase. Dale Steyn struck early to remove Abhishek Nayar while Sanju Samson and Shane Watson departed soon after, to put RR in a fix. However, despite superb spells from Steyn and Amit Mishra, Rahane and Binny added 77 for the fourth wicket as Rajasthan Royals got off to a winning start in the Indian Premier League 2014.
23:34 IST:FOUR! Another slower one from Steyn and Binny slaps it square of the wicket on the off-side. RR are edging closer here, they need 8 from the last over.
23:32 IST: WICKET! Steyn gets his man - Bhatia tries one shot too many and chips it up in the air, letting Finch take a sharp catch in the deep. Umpire Bowden refers it to the third-umpire and replays shows Finch took it cleanly. RR 121/6 in 18.3 overs.
23:29 IST: FOUR! Cracker from Bhatia. And the bowler is Steyn. That was a terrific shot. Wow. RR are now in sight of victory again.
23:26 IST: WICKET! Mishra again and this time he gets rid of Brad Hodge. Are SRH coming back into the game slowly? This could get tense - Steyn and Kumar have one over apiece and they will bowl the last two overs.
23:20 IST: WICKET! Rahane perished to Mishra after his 59 paved the way for Rajasthan Royals to stand on the verge of a comfortable victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
23:16 IST: Unless the Royals do something really drastic, they cannot lose from this situation. 102/3 after 15 overs, chasing 134 is a great position to be in, even against a dangerous SRH attack.
23:14 IST: FOUR! Steyn back into the attack and Rahane's edge finds the fence and brings up his fifty. FOUR! That was a treat, driven down the ground in style. The Royals are getting close now. 97/3 after 14.3 overs.
23:09 IST: This has been a good partnership between Rahane and Binny and the Royals look good to chase down 134. SRH are still not out of the game though. RR have meanwhile moved to 89/3 after 14 overs, giving their cheerleaders reasons to cheer.
23:06 IST: Strategic timeout. The Royals need 53 runs from seven overs with seven wickets in hand. The odds are certainly in favour of Shane Watson's men but with the SRH bowlers, you never know. Dale Steyn still has two overs left and he could well turn out to be the trump card for Dhawan.
22:58 IST: Ouch, that was nasty. Rahane failed to swing out of a short one from Ishant and the ball rammed into his helmet grill, breaking it. But he is alright after a quick drink.
22:52 IST: FOUR! Rahane is leading the chase for the Royals and he smashes that Misrha delivery to the fine-leg fence. He will be crucial for the Rajasthan Royals chase tonight.
22:50 PM IST: SIX! Binny picked up the length early from Sammy and smashes it over deep mid-wicket. The ball lands right on the ropes and after a long look by the third-umpire, the on-field umpire signals for the maximum. Binny follows it up with a FOUR! Half way through the innings, RR are 61/3 and need 73 from the last 10. Game on here.
22:43 IST: End of strategic timeout! Amit Mishra in the attack with RR on 43/3 after 8 overs.
22:34 IST: Darren Sammy in the attack. Three different pacers have picked a wicket apiece for SRH so far. Can Sammy chip in with one too?
22:30 IST: WICKET! Watson gets a clear outside edge off Ishant, which was taken cleanly by Rahul behind the stumps and the lanky pacer gave Watson some sendoff. RR are 31/3 in 6.2 overs.
22:21 IST: FOUR! Rahane hits through the line and sends that one from Ishant Sharma to the fence. RR: 28/2 after 5 overs.
22:19 IST: Ishant Sharma in the attack. What does he have for SRH tonight?
22:17 IST: Two early and unwelcome losses for the Royals but the setbacks have brought Watson and Rahane together at the crease. If these two stick together for the next few overs, Rajasthan Royals are going to walk away with the game.
22:14 IST: WICKET! Strange shot from Samson as Kumar picks up his first wicket. Easy catch for Dhawan and SRH continue to apply the pressure on the Royals. RR: 15/2 after 3.2 overs.
22:11 IST: Rest assured, SRH are going to make a real fight of this defence. Steyn, Kumar, Ishant, Mishra, Sharma make a potent bowling attack and the fielding is razor sharp too with the likes of Warner, Finch and Sammy, the fielding will be top-notch too. Chasing 134 against them will not be a piece of cake.
22:04 IST: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the second over. SRH have a great bowling attack and they have it in them to make things tough for the Royals but Rahane clips that one off his pads and it's a FOUR!
22:00 IST: WICKET! Steyn raps Nayar on the pads, appeals belatedly and Billy Bowden, the umpire gives it out. Steyn has his tails up. RR: 4/1 after 1 over.
21:59 IST: Nayar faces up to Steyn and FOUR! Driven through the covers. What a shot. That should give some confidence, taking on a bowler of that caliber.
21:43 IST: Sunrisers Hyderabad score 133/6 from their 20 overs. What a contrast to the first game today, where Kings XI Punjab chased down Chennai Super Kings' 205 without much fuss. However, it was sheer brilliance from Rajasthan Royals' bowlers and sharp captaincy by Shane Watson as SRH, despite Finch, Warner, Dhawan and Sammy in their line-up were restricted to a below-par score. Finch fell early to Kulkarni but Dhawan and Warner tried to steady the innings with a 75-run stand - they were not able to break the shackles and allowed the pressure to get to them. Both departed in quick succession to Bhatia, who finished with 2/22 off his four overs.
21:38 IST: SRH need one big over to finish off the innings on a decent note. They are 125/5 after 19 overs but another 15 off the last six balls could set up things nicely for their superb bowling line-up.
21:31 IST: WICKET! Richardson bowled well without reaping any rewards but he has got the big one here, removing Darren Sammy just when SRH were looking to accelerate.
21:28 IST: WICKET! And Rahul holds out to Rahane in the deep. Kulkarni bags his second wicket. This is all going so wrong for the Sunrisers at 108/4 after 17 overs.
21:27 IST: SIX! And the offensive comes not from Sammy but from a cultured Karnataka batsman, Lokesh Rahul. SRH need more of that. Right now, 140 would be on top of the priority list for the Sunrisers.
21:25 IST: 100 up for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 17th over. How many more will Sammy help them get? You are welcome to share your thoughts @CricketNDTV.
This SRH innings is drifting along at a rather slow pace but Glenn Maxwell's carnage in the first game today was a sight to behold. Here's what left Chennai Super Kings shell-shocked.
21:19 IST: Sunrisers Hyderabad are 90/3 off after 15 overs. Sammy has turned it around a lot many times with his powerful hitting in the last five overs. Tonight, he will need to to do exactly that.
21:14 IST: End of another strategic timeout. Can SRH implement their strategies now? The onus is on Darren Sammy to do what he did for the West Indies a few times in the ICC World T20.
21:10 IST: WICKET! Warner perishes, trying to slog but terrific change of pace from Bhatia, who gets his second wicket of the match. SRH are not going anywhere with 82/3 in the 14th over.
21:08 IST: DROPPED! That was a difficult chance but a chance nonetheless for Faulkner and it is Warner who gets a life. Would that prove to be costly for the Royals?
21:02 IST: WICKET! Dhawan tried to look for the boundary but holed out to Richardson in the deep, off the bowling of Bhatia. That was the wicket RR were looking for.Rahul walks in to bat with Warner. SRH are 79/2 after 12 overs.
20:58 IST: Dhawan has been the aggressor tonight, with Warner ready to play second fiddle. Tells you a lot about how SH are going to play in this campaign. The batting will revolve around Warner this summer and why not - he is easily one of the top three batsmen in the world today.
20:55 IST: FOUR! Dhawan is getting into one of his zones, another beautifully timed shot races away to the fence. SH are 69/1 after 10 overs.
20:52 IST: Stuart Binny in the attack after the timeout. Warner on strike. Something has got to give way here. The Aussie southpaw is not used to being tied down in T20 cricket for so long.
20:49 IST: Strategic timeout. It will be a crucial phase of play for both teams after the break.
20:48 IST: SIX! Dhawan gets hold of that from Tambe and deposits it into the stands. Great shot to break the shackles.
20:44 IST: Rajat Bhatia with the ball on his RR debut. He can be a difficult bowler to get away with his tight line and length deliveries.
20:40 IST: Sunrisers are finally clicking along and with Dhawan and Warner, both capable of piercing the boundaries at will, RR could have their task cut out. Don't forget, there's Sammy down the order as well.
20: 33 IST: FOUR! Warner get in the act, goes after Richardson as SH seek to up the ante, with the powerplay soon set to end. Can they make the most of the remaining two overs?
20:31 IST: FOUR! Dhawan sets the ball rolling for SH. Well played that. They needed a move-on and Dhawan is going to lead the way.
20:27 IST: A few wides and some quick running helped SH pick up a few runs from the Faulkner over. But they will need to start hitting out sometime for a strong RR, with the likes of Watson, Rahane, Binny and Hodge in their ranks.
20:23 IST: A slow start for SH here. They are 4/1 after 2 overs as Faulkner comes on to bowl the third of the innings. Dhawan and Warner are both aggressive batsmen and it's only a matter of time before either or both explode.
20:14 IST: WICKET! Soft dismissal for Finch, who plays a Kulkarni delivery straight to Richardson. David Warner walks in to bat with Sunrisers Hyderabad on 2/1.
20:11 IST: Finch and Dhawan are the Sunrisers Hyderabad openers. Warner will come down the order, maybe at one down. Kulkarni with the new ball for the Royals.
20:09 IST: Rajasthan Royals are on the park. The umpires are ready and the Sunrisers Hyderabad openers walk out to the middle. This could be another run-fest after the first game this evening. Both these sides have strong batting line-ups and it could be fun again.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson (Captain), Sanju Samson (WK), Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Abhishek Nayar, James Faulkner, Rajat Bhatia, Kane Richardson, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Aaron Finch, Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), David Warner, Venugopal Rao, Lokesh Rahul (WK), Darren Sammy, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma
19:44 IST: Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to bowl against Sunrisers Hyderabad in game 2 tonight.
Rajasthan Royals will be extremely competitive, says Shane Watson
Having been part of Rajasthan Royals' campaign in all six previous editions, including the triumphant one in the inaugural year 2008, star Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels the Jaipur franchise has its strongest-ever team in the Indian Premier League this season.
"I've got no prediction, apart from (that) we're certainly going to be extremely competitive. We've got, in my thoughts, the strongest squad we've ever had for the Rajasthan Royals.
"We've got really hard quality options and back-up for every position in our team which we haven't exactly had every year in the past," said Watson in an email interview to PTI about his team's chances in the T20 event starting Wednesday in the UAE.
However, the 32-year-old Queensland-born stalwart, who will captain the Royals this season, pointed out that with one team less following the exit of Pune Warriors this season, it's going to be an open and exciting tournament.
"But that doesn't certainly guarantee success or any more success than we've had previously because the opposition have got the same thing as well with one less team this year (which) means that there are more hard quality players that are around to better be in every list as well. So I think it's going to be the most toughly fought and evenly fought IPL that's been so far because the quality of players that are in every single squad is pretty amazing," he said. (Read more)
IPL will help me grow as a cricketer, says Parvez Rasool
After becoming the first Jammu and Kashmir player to be selected in an Indian Premier League team in 2013, Parvez Rasool is now ready for his second stint in the T20 league and reckons that the presence of star players in his team will help him grow as a cricketer.
The off-spinning all-rounder, who has been bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 95 lakh, firmly believes that the T20 event is a big stage to make one's presence felt in the national and international market.
"I feel one should grab every opportunity that comes your way and IPL is a perfect platform to showcase one's talent. With so much of television viewership, the world is watching and the selectors also have an eye on the event. It's a great chance for any upcoming cricketer to prove his worth in this T20 extravaganza," Rasool told PTI. (Read more)
A couple of bad apples are now gone from our squad, says RR skipper Watson
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson would have hardly had any time to sulk over his nation's poor show in the recent World T20 tournament in Bangladesh that concluded on April 6, given he has to take over the mantle at Rajasthan Royals in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League that kicks off in UAE on Wednesday. But that will be the least of his worries.
Rajasthan Royals come into the tournament reeling under the after-affects of the biggest spot-fixing scandals to have hit Indian cricket with two of their players - S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan receiving life bans from the Board of Control for Cricket in India while a third, Ajit Chandila continues to be under investigation.
Two other Royals players Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi were banned for five years and one year respectively too. However, Shane Watson believes it's time to turn over a new leaf and is hopeful that the extrication of a 'couple of bad apples' will help the Royals repeat their inaugural IPL title-winning campaign once again. (Read more)