IPL 2019: Livingstone, Unadkat down SRH as Rajasthan Royals live to fight another day

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A fine cameo from Livingstone. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Sunrisers Hyderabad‘s 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) play-off hopes took a massive beating as Rajasthan Royals prevailed by seven wickets at Jaipur to live to fight another day.

Having to win at any cost to keep their slim play-off ambitions alive, Rajasthan chased down Sunrisers’ total of 160-8 with five balls to spare with Sanju Samson remaining unbeaten on 48.

It was the fifth loss in seven games for Hyderabad and although they still hold the fourth and final play-off spot in the table, they are now joined by Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals at 10 points apiece.

REVIVED PANDEY SLAMS SECOND CONSECUTIVE FIFTY

Sunrisers started in brisk fashion with the bat but a Shreyas Gopal googly saw the visitors lose skipper Kane Williamson early. With David Warner uncharacteristically struggling for boundaries at one end, it was Manish Pandey who ensured that Hyderabad remained on the front foot.

Having endured a miserable IPL campaign before exploding to life with an unbeaten 83 against CSK, Pandey made the most of his new-found form to rain boundaries at Jaipur.

Pandey brought up his second consecutive fifty off just 27 deliveries showing equal aggression against both pacers and spinners. While Warner failed to find a single boundary in his 32-ball stay at the crease, Pandey found the ropes on nine occasions to keep the rate of scoring at around 10 runs an over.

MUCH-MALIGNED UNADKAT LEADS RAJASTHAN FIGHTBACK

Hyderabad were cruising at 121-2 with Pandey firing on all cylinders before Steve Smith pulled off a sensational running catch to dismiss his compatriot Warner.

That wicket brought one more in no time with Pandey becoming Gopal’s second dismissal. Still, SRH were in an excellent position to cash in at the death overs but some excellent bowling and fielding led by Jaydev Unadkat saw the hosts come bounding back.

The left-arm seamer had been branded as the most expensive flop in the IPL by many but he finally showed his prowess on Saturday with the crucial wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Deepak Hooda. Unadkat was also excellent in the field with two superb catches as well with his contributions seeing SRH lose all steam in the death overs.

LIVINGSTONE FIRES TO PAVE WAY FOR RAJASTHAN WIN

A chase of even 161 against a formidable SRH bowling attack was never going to be an easy one but the blistering pace with which Rajasthan’s openers Liam Livingstone and Ajinkya Rahane attacked the powerplay overs meant that it was a cakewalk in the end for the hosts.

Featuring in only his second IPL outing, Livingstone launched a sensational attack on Hyderabad’s bowlers with the right-hander plundering three sixes and four boundaries in his 44-run cameo.

60 runs were added by the two openers in the powerplay with their stand extending to 78 before Livingstone finally fell to Rashid Khan. However, the platform set by Livingstone meant that the rest of the Rajasthan batsmen only had to go at run-a-ball to achieve victory and they made no mistake in that regard.

BRIEF SCORES

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 160-8

Manish Pandey: 61 (36)

Jaydev Unadkat: 2-26

Rajasthan Royals: 161-3

Sanju Samson: 48 not out (32)

Liam Livingstone: 44 (26)

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