SRH cruise through
Williamson follows up on the Roy fifty with a half-century of his own to end this with 10 balls to spare. SRH are now a dangerous team for any contenders as they have very little to lose. SRH are not yet out, though. If they keep winning, they have a chance of going through.
RR will be disappointed they just didn't get their bowling right. They were inaccurate in the Powerplay, and the spinners lacked that mystery or the ability to beat batters in the air. The Sakariya-Muastafiz combine made things interesting, but it was too brief and too little for RR. Thanks for joining us.
Into the last five we go
RR have managed two wickets, but the asking rate is well in control at under seven, and Williamson is still in. RR have two overs each from Skaraia and Mustafiz left, plus one over from either Morris or Unadkat. Their equation is simple: they need Williamson. If he bats through, SRH win in all likelihood.
Roy checks in
On his debut for SRH, Jason Roy, another of the batters with elite intent, has taken apart Rahul Tewatia - no boundary in the first two overs - in the 11th over with sweeps and a reverse-sweep. With Tewatia not getting much by the way or dip or drift, it is easier to line him up. That takes him to 59 off 39, cracking open the contest and giving them assurance against a collapse. At 111 for 1 in 11 overs, they need just a run a ball now.
Granted RR don't have a spinner of either the mystery of a Narine or the class of a Chahal, but scoring hasn't been easy against them. Overs six, seven, eight and nine created some pressure, going for just one boundary, but in the 10th, Williamson punches a short-of-a-length ball from Lomror for a six over long-off. At halfway point, SRH are cruising at 90 for 1, and are 86% favourites to win.
SRH take the Powerplay
Sixty-three for 1 in six overs in a chase of 165, and you might be tempted to say if there is a team that can lose from here it is SRH. They have got Jason Roy and Kane Williamson in the middle, but there is not much proven quality to follow. RR, who have been indifferent with the ball and in the field so far, will need to tighten them up here. Expect a lot of slower balls now that the field can spread out. Just 7.28 an over required, SRH 78% favourites on our Forecaster, but a wicket can change things around here.
Bhuvi still got it
There are two reasons why Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been picked ahead of Deepak Chahar for the World Cup: Bhuvneshwar is better at the death, and he is better on slower pitches. Amid the mayhem that Samson started two overs before the death overs, Bhuvneshwar pegged RR back with overs 17 and 19 for a total of 17 runs. That was the break in momentum SRH needed as overs 15 and 16 went for 11 and 20. On a slow pitch, at the death, Bhuvneshwar has shown he has got the goods, ending with figures of 4-1-28-1.
Once again, a side has faltered at the death after looking good for 180-190 in Dubai. Among the IPL venues this year, Dubai has the second-lowest scoring rate in the last two overs. RR might have taken the more adventurous route, but they bhave got the same mid-160s that RCB got last night. Will it prove enough?
RR forced to be conservative
RR tried to go hard in the middle overs too, but the loss of wickets has slowed them down. This partnership is now 3.5 overs old, and Samson and Lomror have hit just the two attacking shots. Samson is now playing a Kohli-like innings: 38 off 36 now, and hoping to cash in in the end. RR 102 for 3 in 14 overs.
Livingstone gone first ball from Rashid
Just as we mention Livingstone's strike rate against Rashid Khan in T20 cricket elsewhere, Rashid runs in to bowl, pitches a filthy long hop, Livingstone sees six, pulls up from down, gets a top edge and Rashid sheepishly accepts the wicket. They are now 77 for 3 in 10.1, and we are wondering if Kohli had it right all along: do not overestimate yourselves and risk ending up 20 short. What we need to remember is, these are not your typical T20 conditions. The pitches are slower than the last year, and two of the three outfields are big.
Two different approaches
We saw last night how RCB approached the middle overs. They had made their minds up one man had to bat right through to the death overs so they attacked only at one end in the middle overs. What they got looked inadequate but turned out to be plenty.
RR are attacking at both ends. Sanju Samson despite an ordinary record against legspinners, especially the wrong'un, reverse-swept Rashid Khan in his first over, and Yash Jaiswal made room to hit Sandeep Sharma for six in the eighth over. Then Jaiswal went for another big shot, playing Sandeep on, gone for 36 at a strike rate of 157.
Now comes out Liam Livngstone, who has the best strike rate against Rashid in all T20 cricket. RR 77 for 2 after 10 overs, Samson 30 off 28.
Powerplay done, now starts the real game
Despite the early loss of Evin Lewis, Rajasthan Royals have kept going in the Powerplay, and managed to reach 49 for 1 by the end of the Powerplay. You would usually take such a Powerplay as the batting side, but you also know from last night that the game changes here once the field spreads and spin comes on. Can Royals find a way to keep scoring against one of two-three all-time great T20 spinners, Rashid Khan?
No Butta Bomma for SRH
David Warner began this IPL season as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has had elite numbers for them: 95 matches, average just under 50, strike rate above 142. This season, though, has not gone his way: eight matches and a strike rate of just 107.73. The axe has fallen for the second time this season. Today apparently he has not even made the trip the ground. It is one of the iconic images of IPL: Warner leading SRH but picking the brains of Williamson on the boundary when the latter is in the extras. You wonder what frame of mind Warner is in that he has not made it to the venue. It is one of the great associations of IPL, Warner and SRH, and if it is coming to an end what with the big auction scheduled for before the next IPL, they have created a lot of memories and magic together.
Changes all around
Nice little moment when Sanju Samson wins the toss and in his eagerness to claim rights to batting first, forgets to shake Kane Williamson's hand. However, both captains remember their team changes pretty well. In for RR are Evin Lewis, Chris Morris and Jaydev Unadkat in for David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi and Kartik Tyagi, who is injured. Williamson has more changes to remember but he does so perfectly: Jason Roy, Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg, Siddarth Kaul in for David Warner, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Khaleel Ahmed.
SRH still have an outside chance of making the playoffs despite just one win in nine matches, but RR are more realistic contenders with eight points from nine matches. They badly need a win to get back on track.
Rajasthan Royals 1 E Lewis, 2 YBK Jaiswal, 3 SV Samson (capt. &wk), 4 MK Lomror, 5 LS Livingstone, 6 R Parag, 7 R Tewatia, 8 CH Morris, 9 JD Unadkat, 10 C Sakariya, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Sunrisers Hyderabad 1 JJ Roy, 2 WP Saha (wk), 3 PK Garg, 4 KS Williamson (capt.), 5 Abhishek Sharma, 6 JO Holder, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 B Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 S Kaul