Sunrisers dominate as Royals are routed in IPL comeback
Rajasthan Royals suffered a heavy defeat on their return to action in the Indian Premier League, going down by nine wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Back in the competition after serving a two-year suspension following links to a 2013 corruption scandal, the Royals were only able to post 125-9 after being put into bat.
Sunrisers had few issues chasing down a below-par total at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, achieving their target with 25 balls to spare.
Shikhar Dhawan led the way with an unbeaten 77 while Kane Williamson contributed 36 not out, the pair putting on an unbroken stand worth 121 to steer the hosts to a comprehensive victory.
Rajasthan made a strong start in their comeback, reaching 52-1 before the departure of captain Ajinkya Rahane (13) in the seventh over triggered a collapse.
They had lost D'Arcy Short early - the Australian left-hander run out by Williamson's direct hit - but opening partner Sanju Samson (49) carried the attack to the Sunrisers.
However, Shakib Al Hasan and Siddarth Kaul claimed two wickets apiece as the Sunrisers methodically worked their way through the batting order.
Rahul Tripathi (17) and Shreyas Gopal (18) did reach double figures, but Rajasthan's big names failed to fire as they lost eight wickets for 71 runs.
ENGLAND DUO DISMISSED CHEAPLY
Ben Stokes contributed just five with the bat on his Royals debut, the all-rounder caught in the deep after coming in at the fall of the second wicket.
His attempt to hit a length ball from seamer Billy Stanlake only presented Williamson with a simple opportunity at long-on, albeit the New Zealander only just held on as he fell forward to the turf.
Stokes' England team-mate Jos Buttler also fell cheaply, though he was a little unlucky to be bowled by Rashid Khan (1-23).
When the teenage leg-spinner dragged down a delivery, Buttler's eyes lit up. However, instead of clearing the rope with his attempted pull shot, he only managed a bottom edge back onto his stumps to be bowled for six.
SHIK AS A PARROT
Dhawan dazzled with the bat for Hyderabad - but only after receiving a huge reprieve from fellow India international Rahane.
Seamer Dhawal Kulkarni found the outside edge of the left-hander's bat with the final ball of the opening over, only to see his skipper spill the straightforward chance in the slips.
Dropped before he had a run to his name, Dhawan went on to hit 13 fours and a solitary six in a 57-ball knock that hurried Hyderabad towards their target.
Williamson was happy to play second fiddle in the partnership as he enjoyed a winning start as Sunrisers captain after taking over the role from the suspended David Warner.