Hyderabad, May 17 (IANS) It was a game held under the shadow of spot fixing scandal and the way Rajasthan Royals played Friday night against Sunrisers Hyderabad, it looked they were keen to put behind the ugly episode to focus on the game. Their body language right from the word go showed they were out to prove a point.
Spearheaded by Jamed Faulkner, the Royals bowlers were unplayable in the initial overs. By sending three top batsmen including big hitter Shikhar Dhawan back to the pavilion in the third over when the score was just five, they dominated the game despite losing the toss.
There was deafening silence among among 28,000 odd spectators at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium when both the openers and captain Cameron White had returned to pavilion with not much on the score board.
Biplap Smantray, who hit 55 off 46 balls and Darren Sammy with his 23 off 19 provided some cheers to the largely partisan crowd. There were not many enjoying moments for the Sunrisers supporters as there were only seven fours and two hits overs the fence in their entire inning.
Samantry’s knock included six fours and one six while Sammy, who is popular with the crowd for his dance with pacifier, hit a boundary and a maximum.
Royals also did well with the bat in the initial overs with captain Rahul Dravid leading from the front. He hoisted Ishant Sharma to a six over fine-leg and hit a boundary on the next delivery in the second over of the inning to send a clear message that he would not allow the scandal to overtake the side.
“For me as a captain and leader I have to focus on ensuring that the team fulfill their enormous potential and continue to play in Rajasthan Royals way,” the skipper had said Thursday while expressing shock over the arrests.
There were extra security arrangements around the stadium in the wake of the scandal. Additional policemen were deployed at the gates to prevent any protests to demand a ban on the IPL.