Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) clinched a thrilling victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) with a 36-run triumph in the Qualifier 2 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 held in Chennai. This decisive win propels SRH into the finals, setting up an exciting face-off with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the title.

Electing to bat first after being invited by RR, SRH managed to set a competitive target of 175 – a score that was effectively defended by their bowlers, showcasing an outstanding performance that will be long remembered.

SRH’s innings began with their signature aggressive approach, which they have consistently demonstrated throughout the TATA IPL 2024. Despite losing a few wickets early on, the team maintained their aggressive stance. For RR, Trent Boult spearheaded the early damage. Abhishek Sharma gave SRH a flying start with a six over mid-wicket followed by a boundary, but Boult struck back quickly, inducing a false shot that ended Abhishek’s efforts prematurely.

Travis Head and Rahul Tripathi then took charge, with Tripathi showing no signs of caution. He aggressively targeted every bowler, starting with a slightly edgy four off R Ashwin in his initial over and followed by boundaries off Boult and Ashwin. Tripathi’s 37 off 15 balls energized the SRH innings, setting a strong pace until Boult again struck, first by claiming Tripathi and then Aiden Markram, who edged it to Yuzvendra Chahal.

At the end of the powerplay, SRH were positioned at 57 for three. Head and Heinrich Klaasen then took on the task of stabilizing the innings. While Head initially took a back seat, he soon began finding the boundary. Klaasen found his rhythm, hitting Chahal for a six, but consistent strikes from the RR bowlers prevented SRH from accelerating further as they would have liked. Avesh Khan’s brilliant spell in the 14th over resulted in two crucial wickets. Nitish Reddy fell to a reverse sweep and Abdul Samad was bowled out the very next ball.

Klaasen, however, anchored the innings as it approached its conclusion, pushing SRH from 120 for six to an eventual score of 175 for nine, with Klaasen achieving his half-century off 33 balls.

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. Shahbaz Ahmed, brought in as an Impact Player, added valuable 18 runs to the team total. Amongst RR bowlers, Sandeep Sharma (two for 25) and Avesh Khan (three for 27) excelled, with Boult also claiming three key wickets.

RR’s run chase began on a promising note with Yashaswi Jaiswal looking in excellent form. He smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six in the very first over and continued to display confident stroke-play. Although RR faced an early setback with Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s dismissal by Pat Cummins, Jaiswal continued his aggressive stance. He particularly hammered Bhuvneshwar in the sixth over, hitting three fours and a six. By the end of the powerplay, RR were at a healthy 51 for one.

However, the middle overs brought a turning point with SRH’s spinners coming into play. Shahbaz broke through RR’s momentum by getting Jaiswal caught in the deep. Then Abhishek Sharma claimed the crucial wicket of Sanju Samson, caught brilliantly by Markram at deep mid-wicket.

RR’s batting lineup began to crumble under mounting pressure from SRH’s spinners. Shahbaz Ahmed further tightened SRH’s grip on the match with a double-wicket spell in the 12th over. Riyan Parag and R Ashwin fell swiftly, leaving RR struggling at 80 for five.

Impact Player Shimron Hetmyer was unable to revive RR’s innings, being kept in check alongside Rovman Powell. The lone resistance came from Dhruv Jurel who showcased excellent temperament amid falling wickets, notching up his fifty off just 26 balls in the penultimate over. Nevertheless, the outcome was already clear as SRH’s bowlers led by Shahbaz and Abhishek, who together claimed five wickets for just 47 runs in their eight overs, sealed the match.

With this emphatic win, SRH secured their position for a rematch of Qualifier 1 and will contend with KKR for the TATA IPL 2024 title in Chennai on Sunday.

By IPL Agent

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