IPL 2018: Dhawan and Williamson overwhelm Royals

Shikhar Dhawan's run-glut continued as the southpaw hammered a quick-fire 77 off 57 deliveries.

Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson piled misery on Rajasthan bowlers.   -  PTI

Sunrisers Hyderabad made light work of an under-par Rajasthan Royals total, as it chased down 125 with more than four overs to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium on Monday night.

Shikhar Dhawan’s blistering 57-ball 77 was the highlight of the emphatic nine-wicket win.  Dhawan, who was dropped in the opening over of Dhawal Kulkarni, made the most of the reprieve, hammering 13 boundaries and a six during his entertaining knock.

After Wriddhiman Saha had holed out to Ben Laughlin off the bowling of Jayadev Unadkat, Dhawan joined hands with skipper Kane Williamson and together, the duo racked up a century stand to pile misery on a rudderless Rajasthan attack.

Kulkarni’s frustration would have known no bounds when the Delhi dasher’s upper-cut sailed into the galleries behind the third man.

Meanwhile, Williamson drove Unadkat out of the firing line, smacking him past cover point and then hitting one over the square leg hoarding in the same over. The Kiwi skipper played an able second fiddle to Dhawan.

Royals' all-rounder Ben Stokes failed to impress with both and ball.

 

Even off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham, introduced with the hopes of containing the carnage, failed to arrest the run flow.  Dhawan struck two successive boundaries off Gowtham before dismissing Ben Stokes through square for his half-century.

Earlier, Rajasthan recovered well after the early dismissal of D’Arcy Short had threatened to steal the momentum in the powerplay. The Australian batsman was caught short of his crease thanks to a direct hit from Williamson.

Samson, then, dominated the strike in a 46-run second-wicket stand with Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane (13, 13b, 2x4), though, failed to impress with the bat; the Rajasthan skipper offering a simple catch to Rashid Khan at mid-wicket off the bowling of Siddharth Kaul.

Left with little room to play his explosive shots, Ben Stokes - Royals' most expensive acquisition at Rs. 12.5 Crore - perished for just 5, holing out to Williamson at long-on off Stanlake.

Samson, meanwhile, continued to play his shots but was unlucky to fall one short of a deserved half-century; Rashid Khan snapping up a fine catch at deep cover off Shakib-Al-Hasan.

The Royals’ batting, post-Samson's dismissal, showed little sign of resistance, with Rahul Tripathi and Shreyas Gopal being the only two batsmen to log double digits.