IPL 2019: Match 8, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – Tactical success of the game

IPL 2019: Match 8, Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – Tactical success of the game

Jos Buttler was cleaned up by Rashid Khan for just five runs during the 4th over of the innings.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad. (Photo: IANS)

Jos Buttler and his form as an opener was the major talking point ahead of the game between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals. Since been promoted to the opening role in the previous edition, Buttler attained remarkable consistency. He struck five consecutive fifties and had six 50+ scores from seven innings as the RR opener. Buttler’s lowest score in those seven innings reads 39 and the expectations were too high on him after he missed a big knock due to backing up against the Kings XI Punjab.

The plan that SRH needed:

The Sunrisers had a lethal weapon in their hand in the form of Rashid Khan who could stop Jos Buttler. The numbers do back the move as Rashid had dismissed Buttler three times for 4 runs in eight balls in the Twenty20 format coming into the game. The leg-spinner got England’s stalwart bowled on two instances out of their three meetings in the shorter format. Rashid got the better of Buttler in both games during the previous IPL season.

But the keeper-batsman makes most out of the powerplay overs which allows him to settle down and play the leggie safe. The earliest Rashid has bowled in his 32 IPL matches before the game against RR was in the 3rd over. Rashid was forced to bowl the 3rd over of the chase during the rain-affected eliminator game against the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017.

Excluding that rain-marred game, the earliest Rashid Khan bowled in an IPL innings was in the 5th over. He is usually introduced after the completion of the powerplay overs and in the previous game, he bowled his first over during the 8th over of KKR’s innings. Buttler scored 43 runs from 22 balls out of his 43-ball 69 against KXIP. This meant SRH needed to bring in Rashid as early as possible against the inform player.

The perfect execution:

The SRH management and skipper Kane Williamson did the right thing by handing the ball to the Afghanistan star player in the 4th over itself. A couple of tight overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept Ajinkya Rahane on the strike for the first ball during the first three overs. Soon after they found Buttler facing the first ball of a new over, the home team tossed the ball to Rashid who produced an inside edge straight away.

Rashid followed it with a quicker one, which Buttler tried to sweep and saw his stumps rattled. On a track where the batsmen enjoyed to stay at the crease, the early wicket of Buttler would have surely cut down at least 20-25 runs from Rajasthan’s total given the way SRH bowled at the end. The target of 199 turned out to a bit too small for the Sunrisers who chased it down with an over to spare.

While every bowler suffered the thrashing, Rashid Khan finished with 1/24 from his four overs. He finished the chase with a six over the deep square-leg region as he scored 15 runs from only eight balls. Rashid’s efforts in the game were so crucial that he was awarded the Player of the Match. This shows the importance of Rashid’s spell and the plan turned out to be a succesful one.

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