Steve Smith has laid down another IPL masterclass overnight but it was not enough as his Rajasthan Royals went down to the Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven runs.
Batting first, Sunrisers posted a mammoth total of 201 from their 20-overs thanks to half-centuries to David Warner and Eoin Morgan, the latter’s coming off only 22 deliveries. Henriques chipped in with another valuable score of 20 (21).
SWITCH HIT: Bird injury prognosis improves
Smith entered the frame in the 2nd over for the Royals in their chase and smashed his second half-century of the tournament. His game-high knock of 68 came from only 40 deliveries and featured nine fours and two sixes.
He eventually fell in the 15th over with the royals needing 81 runs from only 33 deliveries. Same late hitting from South African Chris Morris (34* off 11) restored some respectability to the score line, but ultimately came too late.
Moises chipped in with another wicket, taking 1-29 from his three overs, taking his tally to six wickets at an average of 18 from his five matches to-date.
SWITCH HIT: All BBL Player Movement to-date
In the later game, Johan Botha and the Kolkata Knight Riders proved too much for the Delhi Daredevils, running out winners by 13 runs.
While the Knight Riders depth with the ball ensured Botha was only required to bowl one over in Dehli’s chase of 172 for victory, his late hitting ultimately proved the difference.
Entering the crease in the 20th over, Botha smashed four consecutive boundaries and a single from his five deliveries to lift his side to 171. He drove, cut and sliced the ball to the boundary in a supreme show of hitting, reminiscent of his 19-ball 41 runs he smashed against the Sixers last season at the SCG.
SWITCH HIT: Starc takes career best figures
The Royals (14 points) and Knight Riders (13 points) currently occupy second and third position on the IPL ladder respectively, while Moises Sunrisers (10 points) are in a log-jam with RCB and the Mumbai Indians for fourth spot – and the final Finals qualifier – with 13 matches remaining across the league.
SIXERS IN THE IPL
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Mitch Starc, Nic Maddinson, Sean Abbott
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Johan Botha, Trevor Bayliss (Head Coach)
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Steve Smith
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SH): Moises Henriques